Fortville Chief of Police shares eclipse plans for the department and tips


With Ind. 67 being a main bypass for interstate traffic, those who travel may run into the construction currently taking place.

Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

FORTVILLE – Patrick Bratton, Fortville’s Chief of Police, said as the day of the eclipse approaches, the Fortville PD will be prioritizing calls to help ensure the safety of everyone.

Bratton said that with the added crowds and traffic, the number of calls is more than likely to increase and response times may take longer than usual.

“There’s going to be delayed response times for fire and PD. So obviously, we’re going to do it like we always do – we prioritize our calls and emergent calls will be prioritized first,” Bratton said.

Bratton said emergent calls are declared as loss of life, severe injury accidents, and act of major crimes in progress. Bratton said also any car accidents due to road rage and felonies in progress would be considered emergent calls.

Another main concern Bratton said will be the main ingress and egress routes for public safety, which includes Ind. 13, Ind. 67, Southeastern Parkway and Fortville Pike. Bratton said that if people decided to park on those routes, they are subject to being towed.

Bratton said non emergent calls that will not take priority over any public safety are trespassing on private property, any public urination, minor thefts, unauthorized food or merchandise vendors, parking complaints that don’t impede traffic and minor traffic violations.

Bratton said that Ind. 67 is the bypass for I-70 and I-69, so if major accidents were to happen or if traffic jams started, the crowd would head through Fortville.

“ We have to plan for that,” Bratton said. “I’ve met with Chief (Mark) Elder and Chief (Paul) Casey with McCordsville, and we’ve gone over and made an incident action plan for Vernon Township. It’s not a published plan, but it is on file with Department of Homeland Security…”

Another piece of information Bratton wanted to make sure the public knew is during the day of the eclipse, cell service may not be available. Bratton said that while totality of the eclipse is only approximately four minutes, service could be affected from start to end, which spans over multiple hours and if a call isn’t going through, to keep trying.

Bratton said over the next week, there will be travel tips posted online and signage that identifies the roads in Fortville, just in case someone is lost and needs to find their way back to main routes.

“But please be flexible with everything. It’s going to be a tough day for everybody, probably a tough weekend for fire and PD personnel, just with the amount of people and the amount of calls that we’re going to end up taking,” Bratton said.