The Super Bowl is the biggest event in American sports. This year’s game will be hosted at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The NFL is predicting that nearly 1 million fans will participate and enjoy the festivities in the Houston area. An additional 100 million people will watch the game on television around the world. This makes the Super Bowl a main stage event for those willing to cause problems as well and the biggest event to try to secure.
Securing the Big Game
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is coordinating with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in a collaborative joint effort to secure the event and protect citizens. Shared intelligence and surveillance equipment will help enhance security for the event. Law enforcement technology such as the automated license plate readers (ALPR) and real-time cell phone surveillance will be deployed, as well as social media monitoring software in an effort to make the game and events as secure as possible. Law enforcement will also deploy stingrays which are International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI catchers) that are designed to mimic cellular towers that allow the cellphone traffic to be intercepted and track movement of the cell phone user. Facial recognition software will monitor the crowds as another layer of intelligence gathering for agencies working the event.
Even with all the law enforcement agencies working together and the use of security technologies citizens must be active participants in helping make the event secure.
If you are at the event, please cooperate with security and law enforcement officers and do not become part of the problem by distracting officers from being vigilant because you are impatient. Arrive early and be prepared to cooperate with security protocols and checkpoints.
The NFL and law enforcement wants everyone to enjoy the game and festivities but most important be safe and responsible.
Fighting terrorism and making our homeland safe and secure is every citizen’s responsibility.
About the Author
Mark Bond worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms trainer for more than 30 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state, and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in Criminal Justice, and M.Ed in Educational Leadership with Summa Cum Laude Honors. Mark has a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) with a concentration in college teaching and learning. Mark is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.