Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Super security effort for Super Bowl

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. The game plan for security at the Super Bowl will include nearly 4,000 local police and private security officers, airport-style screening for those entering MetLife Stadium, and a host of other visible and invisible measures, law enforcement officials said at a briefing Wednesday at the stadium.

The plan, in the works for more than two years, relies in part on lessons learned, including the power outage at the 2013 game in New Orleans.

"That's one of the things we took a hard look at," said Col. Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.

Officials are working closely with utility companies to ensure ample backup power. Sanitation agencies also are in the mix, with the plan calling for 900 snowplows to be on standby for game day, Feb. 2.

Up to 700 state troopers will be on patrol in and around the stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, Fuentes said. The NFL is providing 3,000 private officers to bolster security.

The officers have rehearsed during the last year "for all kinds of types of situations, whether crime was afoot or the weather went off the rails," Fuentes said.

Behind the scenes, FBI analysts at a command center with surveillance camera feeds and computer data will work around the clock on the week of the game to monitor potential terror threats, said Aaron Ford, head of the FBI's Newark office.

Heavily armed tactical teams, bomb squads, and hostage negotiators will also be on standby, he added.

The FBI and other agencies have "prepared for just about every contingency we can possibly think of to ensure this is a safe and secure event," he said. "Much of the work will go unnoticed."

In New York City, there will be beefed-up security at several pre-Super Bowl parties and other events. The New York Police Department will deploy extra patrols, bomb-sniffing dogs, and helicopters to secure "Super Bowl Boulevard," a three-day NFL extravaganza in Manhattan on Broadway between 47th and 34th Streets, NYPD Bureau Chief James Waters said.

For an event that has been billed as the first mass-transit Super Bowl, fans will have to present their tickets to the game before they can board buses or trains headed to the East Rutherford facility. The NFL also urges fans not to take any bags.

Once at the stadium, fans will be directed to temporary outdoor pavilions at the edge of a security perimeter 300 feet from the entrances.

The officials said at least 100 government agencies were involved in the security effort, but they gave no estimate of how much it would cost.

The conference championships are Sunday. The New England Patriots will play the Denver Broncos in the AFC championship game, and the San Francisco 49ers will face the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC championship game.

Tom Hays Associated Press
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