October 25, 2017 10:18 PM
More than a million people are expected to visit Minnesota when U.S. Bank Stadium hosts Super Bowl LII.
The excitement that spreads across 10 days requires the assistance of 40 different law enforcement agencies, but the Minneapolis Police Department is the lead agency for the event.
And a lot has changed since 1992, the last time Minneapolis hosted the Super Bowl.
"From a technological standpoint, a lot has changed," said Minneapolis police Cmdr. Scott Gerlicher. "Back in 1992, we were using typewriters."
Gerlicher says the tools the department has now make the job easier -- or at least more efficient.
"It's all really at our fingertips as law enforcement to access databases that were very limited back before today's technological age," Gerlicher said.
The department is working with two Minnesota companies to develop an app to better track officers' location and live-stream video from the field.
"What it does is allows us as law enforcement to be a lot more efficient," Gerlicher said.
But technology, including surveillance cameras, can't do everything for them.
"It will be a very high-visibility law enforcement event," Gerlicher said.
The police commander says the department's goal is to have hundreds of officers working the event, mostly on foot.
"They'll see a lot of police officers, but it's not meant to be any sort of intimidating force," Gerlicher said.
U.S. Bank Stadium is the most urban in the league, and Gerlicher admits that while everything is close in proximity, congestion is problematic.
"Space and a lack thereof is a concern for everybody," he said.
With Minneapolis soon in the spotlight, Gerlicher says 41 additional public safety groups are helping to make the big game and its residual events safe. While MPD is technically the lead, its officers know it takes a team effort.
"Whether that be a weather emergency, a traffic situation, or God forbid a criminal act or act of terrorism," Gerlicher said. "We've been thinking about it, and we have contingencies in place to deal with just about anything that may come our way."
Minneapolis police says they've tested out some of the new technology when the X Games were in town this past summer. Super Bowl LII festivities kick off on January 26.
Updated: October 25, 2017 10:18 PM
Created: October 25, 2017 10:00 PM
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