Sunday, February 1st, the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks face off in Super Bowl XLIX. The game will take place at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The annual event has already garnered the attention of the entire country. By now, throughout the US, office pools have been established, parties have been scheduled, and large quantities of wings have been purchased. Meanwhile, in Arizona, security has been geared up for the big day.
Over 4,000 private security personnel and nearly 3,000 members of the Phoenix police force will be deployed to ensure the event runs smoothly. The 63,400 fans attending the event (over 100,000 expected in the greater stadium area) are encouraged to arrive early to allow for time to pass through security clearances. Attendees will be required to go through metal detectors and pat downs and a strict “clear bag” policy will be enforced.
Though Federal officials have stated that no credible threats have been discovered, officials have gone to extraordinary lengths to implement layered security precautions and to ensure that all possible vulnerabilities have been addressed. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which assesses the event each year, has given the game a Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR) of 1, as it has in most previous years. The rating is based on a number of factors which assess the event’s level of risk, 1 being the greatest. It is used by the Federal government to determine the number of resources dedicated to security preparedness.
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson was in Arizona on Wednesday to oversee DHS preparations. While in Arizona, Johnson announced the re-launch of the DHS “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign. Johnson stated,
Public awareness, support and participation in our homeland security efforts are essential. As I’ve said before, ‘if you see something, say something’ is more than just a slogan. Whether you are on the plains of Iowa, the streets of Manhattan or a fan at the Super Bowl, we all play a role in keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe.
The event’s DHS Federal Coordinator, Matthew Allen also commented, “I have every confidence the public safety agencies that represented the planning process are going to have their best and brightest out there this weekend and we will have a very safe Super Bowl.”
As Sunday approaches, MSA would like to wish good luck to both teams. We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable day with their family and friends, both at the game and at home.