MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Security surrounding the big game has been a top priority for the NFL, federal and local law enforcement.
They began planning two years ago. Wednesday top officials involved came together to detail the plan that is now in action.
“There are some challenges with putting the Super Bowl on here in Minneapolis,” NFL chief security officer Cathy Lanier said.
Public safety officials outlined the collaborative effort. And, how they got creative putting safety first with the first Super Bowl held in the heart of a bustling downtown.
“As you’ve seen in places like Nicollet Mall, we’ve put additional concrete barriers in place the Humvees that are on Nicollet Mall those pull out every time as lights cross because we don’t want any pedestrians to get hit accidentally or intentionally,” Commander Scott Gerlicher with Minneapolis Police said.
Officers on foot surround the action. That’s what people can see. But so much of the preparation happened behind the scenes.
“We’ve conducted over 200 different security assessments of the critical infrastructure and the surrounding area. We’ve provided council and recommendations on protective measures resulting from those assessments and we’ve hosted about 52 training sessions in the area on topics ranging from active shooter through to cyber bombing, any sort of hazard or event that could occur,” Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said,
Intelligence is key to preventing an event. The FBI is home to the Intelligence Operations Center.
“No matter how the threat information comes in we have the ability to process it and analyze it and then get it out for action to the people that need to action it,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton said.
Minneapolis’ Police Chief reminds Minnesotans and visitors hosting this Super Bowl is vastly different from it was the last time back in 1992.
“Since then our world has changed and we really need to make sure that as a symbol of our freedom for Americans to get together and enjoy their pastime we have to make sure and ensure their safety is first and foremost,” Chief Medaria Arradondo said.
The Department of Homeland Security reports right now there is no credible threat against the big game or events surrounding it.