David Pekoske, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, met with local law enforcement officials and the National Football League (NFL) to review Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operations to help ensure the safety and security of employees, players, and fans during Super Bowl LV. Dozens of federal agencies and components, including DHS, contributed to security measures seen and unseen in connection with the Super Bowl.
Pekoske said, “In addition to the outstanding efforts of the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the NFL Security Team, more than 500 DHS personnel [worked] to secure the Super Bowl on Sunday. This is truly a collaborative effort.”
As with past Super Bowls, this event was voluntarily submitted to DHS for a risk assessment and was classified as Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR) Level 1—meaning that it required extensive federal interagency support. Not only is the Super Bowl an attractive target for terrorists and domestic violent extremists, but it also presents opportunities for human trafficking, the sale of counterfeit goods, and other criminal activities.
DHS worked with state and local partners and the NFL on a variety of efforts to secure Super Bowl LV, including:
- Federal Coordination of the extensive interagency effort led by Scott McCallister, Regional Director within the DHS Office of Intelligence & Analysis.
- Security Assessment and training to state and local law enforcement, local hotels, and others to help them identify potential risks and take steps needed to address them.
- “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign boosted its visibility in the Tampa area through efforts like billboards and targeted social media to encourage public vigilance and reporting of suspected instances of terrorism.
- “Blue Campaign” anti-human trafficking awareness and education program boosted its visibility in the Tampa area, including partnering with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association to promote resources and coordinating with the Tampa International Airport to train airport staff.
- Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) provided cybersecurity, physical security, and emergency communications support, including conducting active shooter preparedness workshops and counter-IED awareness trainings for local governments and businesses.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provided extensive air and maritime security, tactical operations support, and on-site cargo screening capabilities to secure areas surrounding Super Bowl LV events; and boosting its targeted efforts to seize counterfeit merchandise related to the Super Bowl.
- ICE-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) worked to identify criminal organizations involved in human trafficking and those seeking to profit from the sale of counterfeit goods.
- Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) provided biological, radiological, and nuclear detection technologies and subject matter experts to detect and prevent potential threats.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinated on consequence management planning.
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA) increased its security posture at all Tampa area airports and surging resources—including Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) Teams and TSA-handled K9 teams— to augment law enforcement capabilities.
- U.S. Secret Service (USSS) worked with local law enforcement to secure the event through a variety of measures including extensive planning, preventive measures, support to security operations, and emergency preparedness.
- U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) provided maritime security assets to help secure South Florida’s waterways.
- Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) shared information and intelligence with partners in order to help identify and pre-empt any foreign or domestic threats.
- Science and Technology Directorate (S&T)-developed tools that were used by various DHS components supporting Super Bowl security to enhance coordination and collaboration among response teams.
- Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) worked with federal, state and local public safety and critical infrastructure partners to safeguard and secure information sharing for the event.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, all DHS employees that supported security efforts utilized approved COVID-19 protective measures.