SUPER BOWL BRINGS SUPER SECURITY
It’s the Giants vs the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI on February 5th in Indianapolis. It is well known that extensive site security plans have been in place for months.
According to an Associated Press article published late last month, that plan is coordinated and comprehensive.
For example, it includes four helicopters from the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection, more than 80 street-level surveillance cameras, and police officers using hand-held devices equipped with video connected to a new communications center in the city.
Police will carry hand-held video devices as tens of thousands of people flood downtown during the 10 days of events leading up to the game at Lucas Oil Stadium. A special truck will even scan the inside of delivery vehicles as they enter a secure perimeter around the stadium to look for explosive, radioactive and biological threats, officials said.
“There could be a pocket or two that’s not covered but I’m not saying where that would be,” said Gary Coons, the city’s homeland security chief.
Officials won’t just be relying on cameras. More than 100 undercover city and state police officers will patrol downtown streets. Besides watching for trouble, officers will be looking for pickpockets, prostitutes, and ticket and merchandise counterfeiters, Indianapolis Deputy Police Chief Michael Bates said.
But fans likely won’t even notice the heavy security, said Robert Holley, the FBI’s top official in Indianapolis. He said the FBI is keeping a close watch on intelligence, since it isn’t uncommon for terrorist groups to target large events, and about 250 agents and FBI employees will be involved in the Super Bowl.
“There is a lot going on behind the curtain that (people) won’t see,” he said.
About 3,000 city police officers, firefighters and paramedics will work from the Thursday before the game through Super Bowl Sunday, Public Safety Director Frank Straub said. The FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement officers, Secret Service and Drug Enforcement agents will also be patrolling.
“Our message is that the Super Bowl is something we are taking very seriously,” Straub told The Indianapolis Star. “We are committed to ensuring a safe Super Bowl. Not just the game but events leading up to it.
The impact of the security plans goes well beyond the stadium.
The NFL took control of the Indiana Convention Center on January 18th to start setting up its popularNFL Experience. And while the security aspects of this Experience set-up are not particularly onerous, thousands of people who normally walk through the Centre to and from restaurants and hotels will have limited access to the Centre on game day itself.
All this increased security presence is a boon for private security firms. Indianapolis-based Trinity Executive Services, a private security firm, is hiring 50 temporary staff to handle the extra security work.
This need for additional security personnel speaks to the enormous economic lift that comes with hosting the football final. Overall, the Super Bowl is expected to result in a one-time burst of $384 million in total economic activity.