SBD/January 16, 2014/Events and Attractions

NFL, Police Detail Super Bowl Security, Including 4,000 Police Officers At Stadium

Crowded Manhattan streets pose unusual Super Bowl security challenges
NFL and police officials yesterday outlined the security detail that will be in place around Super Bowl XLVIII, noting that "more than 4,000 police officers from dozens of agencies will surround MetLife Stadium" to patrol the area "on foot, by helicopter and in boats," according to Josh Dawsey of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Officials said that they "studied previous Super Bowls and revamped procedures after the Boston Marathon bombings last April." New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes: "We have been over every possible contingency and what would be the ways we would address them." Officials said that the security strategy was "multipronged and began several years ago." Dawsey notes the "first noticeable signs are likely to come a week before the game, when MetLife Stadium goes into a lockdown mode, with cars and vendors being searched and X-rayed." On game day, "bomb squads, SWAT teams and others will flank the outside parking lots, and have a presence inside the stadium as well." The NFL said that it has spent about $11M on security, and other agencies "are spending their own funds, though they declined to say how much" yesterday (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/16). On Long Island, Joan Gralla reports "airport-style screening outside the stadium will greet fans" as they enter MetLife Stadium. NFL Chief Security Officer Jeffrey Miller said that fans will be "funneled through giant tents in the stadium parking lot dubbed 'Welcome Pavilions.'" Miller: "We will try to get people through fairly rapidly." Ticket holders "will undergo the same kind of screening -- pat-downs, metal detectors and X-rays -- that airports conduct." New Jersey Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo: "Nobody at this table has to be reminded in the shadow of the World Trade Center how important this event is to make people feel safe" (NEWSDAY, 1/16).

I'LL TAKE MANHATTAN: In N.Y., Ken Belson writes the challenges surrounding the Super Bowl this year "will extend far beyond" the game site "to the heart of Manhattan, where the NFL will turn a stretch of Broadway into Super Bowl Boulevard." Those 13 blocks, from Times Square to Herald Square, "will become an open-air football festival that one FBI official called a 'street fair on steroids.'" NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau Chief James Waters said that because Broadway "would be closed during most of the day, delivery trucks should arrive between midnight and 11 a.m. and use hand carts while the Boulevard was open." Vendors at Super Bowl Boulevard also will "have to be screened, and police departments in other cities will be contacted to see if any particularly rowdy fans have traveled to the New York area." The mix of locations "across multiple jurisdictions, and across state lines, is one reason the NFL is working with more than 100 law enforcement agencies to protect the weeklong extravaganza." Miller said compared with other Super Bowls, "There are things that are more complex than we’ve been looking at." He added, "There are a number of private events, NFL events, and we look how they fit together. It’s all a bunch of dominoes, and when you move one thing, it affects others" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/16).
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