"Family Strong" theme behind safe, successful Expo

Some safety patrol volunteers were sent home early Saturday night.
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After a safe and successful Summer Celebration weekend, public safety officials are ready for the next big event.

Homeland Security, police and safety patrol volunteers pulled off the most drama-free downtown events seen in years.

A lot of work went into making Summer Celebration 2013 safe. But nobody expected it to be what police consider the most successful downtown event in a long time. It was no surprise to first-time faith patrol volunteer Janet Mooreman.

"We were just to walk and do those, you know, kind of monitor the activities of the evening," she said.

Early on, Indiana Black Expo organizers adopted "Family Strong" as the theme for Summer Celebration 2013. For the first time ever, faith patrol volunteers put in shorter hours and saw little to no drama.

"I don't know if the people who cause trouble were there or not, but the people who came through were very good," Mooreman said.

"We were actually able to send out faith patrol teams on Saturday night home at 10:00," said Rev. Charles Harrison.

"A lot of payoffs. A lot of payoffs," said Gary Coons, director of Indianapolis Department of Homeland Security.

Coons spent the weekend tweeting about safety. He says the Family Strong theme and pre-plans on safety paid off huge. In fact, as Homeland Security gears up the Brickyard, he says making the racing event a family attraction is not a bad idea.

"Letting them know this is a Family Strong event and we are going to keep the Family Strong and if you are going to cause trouble, stay away," Coons said.

Now, as work crews take down Summer Celebration banners and signs, even first-time volunteers have marked their calendars to work on the peace patrol next summer.

"Great experience. I was glad to be a part of it," Mooreman said.