The Super Bowl is one of the most popular annual events in the U.S. and this year, California was lucky enough to be the host. Festivities in the Bay Area have already begun and with game day right around the corner, the NFL and law enforcement held a press conference today to highlight public safety plans and assure fans they will be safe.
Knowing that hosting such a popular event comes with great public safety responsibility, local, state and federal agencies have been collaborating with the NFL since Levi stadium was chosen as the venue.
Football fans may have already noticed an increased law enforcement presence in the Bay Area and especially at Super Bowl activities. In addition to heightened to local law enforcement presence and operations, other notable actions in place to keep fans safe are:
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is providing security assessments and training to local law enforcement and local hotels.
- NFL and DHS partnership with the “If You See Something, Say Something” messaging.
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is sending more than 100 additional officers and specialists to assist in security operations at the Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose airports.
- The U.S. Secret Service will support open-source social media monitoring for situational awareness and assisting with cyber security vulnerability assessments and mitigation.
- The U.S. Coast Guard will provide maritime security and interagency support.
- The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will conduct operations targeting counterfeit vendors and will also provide venue security.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) units in the event of an emergency.
- DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is deploying Mobile Detection Deployment Units to supplement existing radiological and nuclear detection and reporting capabilities.
- DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis (OIA) is providing on-site intelligence support at various locations in the Bay Area.
- DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA) will deploy a network of BioWatch detectors to warn public health officials in the event of a biological agent.
- DHS Blue Campaign will display awareness materials to help individuals and communities identify and recognize indicators of human trafficking.
The Cal OES mission is to provide support to local government and coordinate needed resources and has been involved in Super Bowl public safety operations. Along side local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, Cal OES will be monitoring the Super Bowl event and are prepared to provide support to local agencies as needed. Representatives from Cal OES are already embedded in local operations and stand ready to respond.
Law Enforcement Branch Chief Mark Pazin represented Cal OES at today’s press conference. Chief Pazin oversees law enforcement mutual aid for California and has been heavily involved in Super Bowl security operations.
“We have been very involved in coordinating and collaborating with the NFL and law enforcement agencies on Super Bowl security”, said Chief Pazin. “Providing support to local agencies and working with state and federal partners in the name of public safety is a top priority.”
When it comes to safety, the public also has an important role. The public safety agencies briefing at today’s press conference said there are no known credible threats for the Super Bowl, but had an important reminder for fans: If you see something, say something. Fans are urged to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.
“If you see something, say something is more than a slogan. Public vigilance and public awareness contributes to a safe and secure event,” said Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Among those briefing on Super Bowl security operations were:
- Secretary Jeh Johnson, Department of Homeland Security
- Jeffrey Miller, NFL Senior Vice President of Security
- David Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI; San Francisco Field Office
- Tatum King, Federal Coordinator, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Mike Sellers, Chief, Santa Clara Police Department
- Greg Suhr, Chief, San Francisco Police Department
Also in attendance:
- Chief Mark Pazin, Cal OES Law Enforcement Branch
- Major General David Baldwin, California National Guard
- And representatives from the – California Highway Patrol, United States Marshal, U.S. Secret Service, Santa Clara Fire Department, and San Francisco Fire Department.
The Super Bowl will take place on Sunday, February 7th at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Fans are encouraged to visit the venue website for specifics on entry, parking, prohibited items and other information to ensure they are prepared for game day. In addition, it is always a good idea to become familiar with your surroundings and have a plan in place in the event of an emergency.