By Doug Johnson, PCI #377/EMSCI #163
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
2008 IPMBA Conference Committee Chairman
Two weeks have passed since we helped pack the last conference participant on an airplane and see them off. In that time, we have all begun to get back into our routines and resume our regular duties. Bikes have been shipped home, IMPD vehicles returned to their respective units, traffic cones gathered and, unfortunately, the pole position for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 has been passed from IPMBA to Scott Dixon and the Ganassi team (Dan Wheldon took second pole). It was to be expected. Scott’s track average on pole day was an average of 226.336 mph per lap! Now that things have settled down and the IMS has reclaimed their track I, on behalf of the local planning committee, wanted to take a few moments to address our conference participants.
I’d like to start by publicly thanking the many people it took to make the Indy 2008 Conference a great experience.
Nearly 400 man-hours of time were donated by local volunteer groups. Representatives from the Central Indiana Bicycling Association, Hoosier Mountain Bike Association, Indy Ambassadors and the IMPD Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni were all instrumental in helping provide a quality conference experience.
Our public safety partners included officers from the Albuquerque Police Department, Cumberland Police Department, Indiana State University Department of Public Safety, Indiana Law Enforcement Academy firearms unit, Lawrence Police Department, Southport Police Department and medics from Wishard EMS. We owe you our thanks and appreciation.
Special thanks and recognition go to several entities within the Indianapolis Metro Police Department. They are—Captain Jim Reno, Administration Division; Downtown District and Northwest District bike officers; Honor Guard; Sergeant Kelly Hayes, IMPD Bagpipes; IMPD SWAT; IMPD Mounted Unit; IMPD Motorcycle Unit; Metro Emergency Communications Agency; IMPD Reserve Unit; Captain Bob Holt, Training Academy, and the IMPD Firearms Training Unit.
We extend our thanks to Mayor Greg Ballard; Chief Michael Spears; Sergeant First Class Sammy Davis; the soldiers from the 38th Infantry Division Band, Indiana Army National Guard and Mr. and Mrs. Mike Laird, of the Jake Laird Memorial Foundation for sharing their son with us while we were lucky enough to have him and for their generosity in his memory – Jake would have been proud of our event and would have welcomed all of you to Indy as brothers and sisters.
I would be remiss if I did not recognize the local planning committee membership. I owe each of them my gratitude and respect. Their dedication to the cause and their loyalty to each other made our conference possible. My hope is that future conference hosts can put together planning teams that include people such as Brad Bolling, IMPD; Brent Denny, ISU Public Safety; Brandon Laser, IMPD; Mike McKenna, Lawrence PD and Mr. Al Simpson.
Lastly I’d like to thank you, the IPMBA membership and cadre of IPMBA instructors. Without you the 2008 Conference would have been a non-event. At the onset of the conference our local goals were to provide a quality conference venue, support safe and effective training and encourage participants to enjoy our city and have fun. I am glad to say that together we accomplished all of these goals. Pending serious injury or death we knew that there was nothing that could not be fixed or achieved. You all made that possible. Consider this an open invitation to return to Indianapolis and enjoy it with friends and family as well.
In closing I would like to look to the future and wish our peers in Albuquerque and St. Louis well. If the Indy 2008 team can be of any service please let us know. We will do everything we can to provide the same high degree of help and assistance that Baton Rouge, Dayton, and Scottsdale provided us. To all others, stay safe, stay in touch and watch out for each other—if we don’t, no one else will.
Godspeed and safe journey to each of you.
© 2008 IPMBA. This article appeared in the Summer 2008 issue of IPMBA News.