January 18, 2018 10:20 PM
Minneapolis police are warning residents no corner of downtown will be untouched by security measures for the upcoming Super Bowl.
The 10-day lead-up to the game at U.S. Bank Stadium on Feb. 4 will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to Minneapolis. And police chief Medaria Arradondo said the department has been planning for the event for two years.
"Downtown is going to get a lot smaller with all these visitors here," Arradondo said Thursday.
The chief and other police department officials briefed city council members on the security plans in place.
Arradondo said while he is confident police are prepared, he's still cautious.
"We can have the best of plans, and we certainly have the resources, but it's the one-off," he said. "It's that unknown."
The chief explained residents and visitors should be prepared to encounter dozens of barriers and street closures outside major points-of-interest in the city.
Arradondo said the shutdowns mean roping off secure areas. But they are also meant to protect the crowds of pedestrians walking around.
Another noticeable security aspect will be an increased law enforcement presence, Arradondo told city leaders.
"All days off were canceled for our personnel," he said. "We made sure our precinct staffing was above and beyond."
In addition to his officers, the chief said more than 60 agencies across the state are sending personnel to help. They will patrol the streets and watch for suspicious activity.
"Those officers, who will be wearing different uniforms but still in our city, they understand about the respect and the voice and making sure we treat everyone with respect," Arradondo said.
Some council members aired concerns about the extra resources, specifically about the National Guard units that Gov. Mark Dayton approved.
"Most of the folks will probably not see them, they will be at very contained, stationary posts," Arradondo said. "They will not be marching around Hennepin or First Avenue."
The chief also fielded questions about the department's role during any protests or demonstrations that might occur.
"We do expect some demonstrations, but we'll continue to monitor it as we lead up to Super Bowl Sunday," Arradondo said. "I feel very, very good about the plans we've had in place."
Updated: January 18, 2018 10:20 PM
Created: January 18, 2018 07:26 PM
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