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The San Francisco 49ers play the Baltimore Ravens this weekend in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII, and the city’s police force is counting on support from law enforcement agencies to help secure the sport’s biggest game. Like winning the big game itself, keeping the peace during the Super Bowl will be a team effort.
Preparations for the Super Bowl have been going on for months, and improvements to the city’s public transit, airport and streets have all been geared toward creating the best possible impression on visitors to New Orleans.
New Orleans police have crafted multiple operational plans, and they are counting on an influx of officers from nearly a dozen local, state and federal agencies. They are also counting on assistance from NFL Security, which must balance the needs of the game, the fan experience, fan and player safety in and out of the stadium – all while working with federal, state and local police agencies.
Jeff Miller, VP/Chief Security Officer for the National Football League, tells Security magazine, “We begin detailed planning and hold stakeholder meetings more than a year in advance of the Super Bowl. While this may seem far in advance, it is necessary to bring together all of the disparate details and groups necessary to build a cohesive rapport and clear understanding of roles and mission in support of the event. Remember, Super Bowl is more than just game day; it encompasses many other events that occur in and around the game itself.”
Therefore, Miller says that NFL Security spends “a great deal of time before and during the game on issues such as perimeter security, access and gate management, screening issues, criminal intelligence, credential management, counterfeit tickets/credentials and game operations.”
In addition to working with the New Orleans Police, NFL Security will partner with officers from the Slidell Police Department, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Westwego Police Department, Gretna Police Department, Louisiana State Police, Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office and Kenner Police Department, said a report in The Advocate.
Miller can’t divulge any specific threats or security strategies, but tells Security magazine that NFL Security has been “working closely with our federal, state and local partners in New Orleans. We are receiving excellent support, which is critical in staging an event like Super Bowl. The NFL would not have the resources to secure this game on our own.”
The resources that he and his staff will use, Miller says, will include “additional technology this year to assist in restricting access to specific areas of the stadium at key times. We continue to improve real time access to cameras deployed at various strategic locations both inside and outside of the stadium,” he says.