Police Consider Charging for Protection of Large, Profit-Making Events

Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Indianapolis police patrol crowd at 2012 Super Bowl (AP photo)

Following in the footsteps of other large cities, Indianapolis may start charging the hosts of major public events for police protection.


With public revenues at a premium, city leaders say it may be time to bill the Indianapolis 500 and other popular festivities that usually require significant security. The change could bring in $1 million in added monies for the city annually, which also hosts the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration and the 500 Festival.


Indianapolis wouldn’t be the first city to end free policing for conventions and events. Las Vegas has charged promoters for years for million-dollar spectacles, such as the Electric Daisy Carnival, a music festival that draws hundreds of thousands of people.

Other cities charge event organizers for security at some events, such as the Kentucky Derby in Louisville and a marathon in Salt Lake City.


Some Indianapolis officials are reluctant to endorse the change, fearing that charging for police protection will discourage new events from coming to the city.


“We are in an extremely competitive marketplace,” Republican City-County Council member Jack Sandlin, a former Indianapolis police officer, told the Indianapolis Star. “Thirty years ago, we made a decision to attract sports and other events. The extra cost was part of that. Could charging for police services cause us to lose events?”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Do Indy’s Iconic Events Pay Their Share of Police Protection? (by Jill Disis and John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star)

As Law Enforcement Budgets are Slashed, Private Eyes and Security Firms Move In (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Surprise! Budget Cuts Lead to Rioting…a 90-Year History (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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