FBI Gives Behind the Scenes Look at Security for Super Bowl LII

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is giving a behind the scenes look at security for Super Bowl LII where the Philadelphia Eagles will play the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday, February 4, 2018, thanks to the story “Super Bowl Security” on the FBI website.

The story reveals that the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) will be the lead agency for security at Super Bowl LII and is being supported by dozens of local police departments and public safety organizations, along with federal agencies such as the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“I think we have done our best to think of just about every contingency, natural or manmade,” MPD’s Scott Gerlicher, the overall public safety coordinator for Super Bowl LII, explains in the FBI story. “The Super Bowl is just a massive operation, and very complicated, especially in our area.”

The FBI’s main responsibilities during Super Bowl LII include taking the lead in any terrorist, cyber, or major crime incident. Joseph Rivers, an assistant special agent in charge in the FBI Minneapolis Division, will lead a team of agents to make sure every piece of the Super Bowl security puzzle is complete.

“We have planned for this to ensure that nothing happens,” Rivers states in the story. “But if something does happen, some kind of mass casualty incident or terrorism event, then there is a huge shift built into the program to continue to support the event but to transition to crisis response and investigation.”

The FBI has also taken responsibility for credentialing thousands of public safety officers and volunteers who need varying levels of access to Super Bowl LII venues. “That means volunteers, food vendors, private security people—the number of individuals could exceed 30,000,” Rivers explains.

Fans attending Super Bowl LII will be pre-screened at indoor locations so they do not have to wait outside U.S. Bank Stadium, a multi-purpose 66,200 seat stadium located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, which makes establishing a secure perimeter more difficult than usual for security officials.

Weather may be a factor for security at Super Bowl LII. While U.S. Bank Stadium is enclosed, security officials outside will have to deal with extremely cold temperatures on game day. The weather forecast for Minneapolis on Super Sunday ranges from a high of under 10 degrees to a low of 0 degrees.

Preparing for an event like Super Bowl LII is nothing new for the FBI, whose Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) specializes in the security of major events such as political conventions and the Olympics and offers tactical teams, bomb techs, and people that can respond to a hazardous device incident.

Alex Khu, a special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), will work with MPD and the FBI in what will be the largest deployment of federal assets to any Super Bowl ever. “Coordination at all levels is key,” Khu says in the story. “There are so many moving pieces. No one agency can do this alone.”

“The goal is to have a safe event,” says Rivers. “We want all the fans in town to see the game and enjoy the events and festivities without ever having to know about all the time and effort and energy that went into getting us to this stage.” The story is at www.fbi.gov/news/stories/super-bowl-security-2018.

ESR Hopes You Enjoy Super Bowl LII

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – hopes you enjoy gathering together with family and friends to watch Super Bowl LII and appreciate the years of planning that go into providing security for such a major event. To learn more about ESR, please visit www.esrcheck.com.

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