Staff and law enforcement prepare to make Special Olympics summer games safe

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Leadership with Special Olympics Indiana are expecting thousands of athletes in Terre Haute for this year’s summer games.

“We will have just under 2,900 participants this year, it is our biggest games ever,” said Scott Mingle, director of sports and competition for Special Olympics Indiana.

In addition to the athletes, staff also expect to see 4,000 coaches and administration, and fifteen-hundred volunteers.

With an influx of people in the area, staff with the games say some street closures are necessary.

“Starting Friday morning, 1st street will be closed in front of the track from Sycamore to Eagle street. Chestnut will also be closed between Fifth street and Third street,” Mingle said.

The Indiana State University Police will be patrolling the area near the games. Sgt. Jacqueline Smith with the university police says over the years they’ve had to make adjustments, such as their equipment, to ensure safety at these games.

“We went from just basic handgun holsters to now we have level 3’s and things that they can’t just grab from us, they’ve actually got a lot of retention on them,” Sgt. Smith said.

Smith also says her department has extended their medical training to handle any situation that is thrown their way.

“We train on CPR, first aid, AED, and those sorts of things,” Smith said.

Smith says she also expects bumper to bumper traffic near the games. She encourages drivers to show patience while passing through the area.

The 2019 Summer Special Olympic games will begin Friday at noon.
    
The opening ceremonies take place at 7:30 Friday night at Hulman Center.
 

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