Officials Outline Super Bowl Security Plans

February 02, 2018 03:24 AM

From high-tech cameras and cargo scanners to sheer manpower, top security officials on Wednesday detailed nearly two-years worth of planning and coordination to make sure Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis remains safe for the crowds expected to visit the Twin Cities.

"We've planned and trained," said the FBI's Richard Thornton, who is the Minneapolis division special agent in charge. "It's game time for us, and we are ready to do what we need to do to take care of anything that comes our way," .


RELATED: Multi-Agency Command Center Activated for Super Bowl Security

The group explained security plans are constantly evolving and there is currently no credible, specific threat against the Super Bowl or associated events in Minnesota.

"We currently don't have any credible threat intel, but we will continue to monitor channels with our international partners," said Sec. Kristjen Nielsen of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Officers from more than 60 law enforcement agencies across Minnesota will be joined by 1,700 federal agents. Officials say they've all been trained to handle a variety of emergency situations.

"On topics ranging from active shooter to cyber bombing, any sort of hazard or event that could occur, these trainings are powerful and mitigate risk and also help to bring us all together," Nielsen said.

Those on patrol will be supported by cutting-edge technology, including high-resolution cameras installed at critical intersections across Minneapolis. 

All security efforts are being monitored at a top secret command post.

"We really need to make sure that as a symbol of our freedom for Americans to get together and enjoy our pastimes, we have to make sure their safety is first and foremost," Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said.

Among the operations, federal agents are watching for counterfeit merchandise. More information about that is expected Thursday.

RELATED: No-Fly Zone: Black Hawk Helicopters Guard Skies Over Minneapolis for Super Bowl

"We have made a number of seizures already, and as we get closer to game day we are looking at counterfeit tickets as well," said Alex Khu, federal coordinator for the Homeland Security department.

There will also be additional Transportation Security Administration workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for the nearly 70,000-passenger rush expected as people leave the Twin Cities after the game.

Officials asked everyone to stay vigilant and to report anything that seems out of place.

"If you see something suspicious please contact authorities or report it to a uniformed police officers nearby," Khu said.

Fans with tickets to the Super Bowl are being asked to dress warmly and prepare for delays going through security outside of U.S. Bank Stadium. They're also encouraged to leave bags at home and to consider parking at Mall of America, and from there ride specially arranged, secure Metro Transit Blue Line trains to the stadium.


Matt Belanger

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