DHS Equities Worked to Secure the Event for Nearly Two Years
WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plays a critical role in Super Bowl security operations. DHS officials worked with the National Football League (NFL) security team, federal partners, and state and local law enforcement for nearly two years in preparation for Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. Twenty-seven DHS entities were involved in security operations.
Last week, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with DHS personnel and our security partners in Minneapolis to discuss joint efforts to ensure a safe and secure Super Bowl LII. Secretary Nielsen received an operational tour of U.S. Bank Stadium and met with DHS partners working to secure the event.
“From boarding an airplane to walking into the stadium, cheering fans can be sure that DHS and our federal partners are here to support our state and local officials in securing the site,” Secretary Nielsen said during the Super Bowl Security press conference with state and local officials, as well as the NFL security team. “Due to its size and scope, it is and can be an attractive target. We don’t have any credible or specific threat intel, but we will continue to actively monitor channels with our international partners, and will be in close and constant contact with all of the folks you see behind me.”
The “If You See Something, Say Something®” message was visible at airports, on bus and rail systems, billboards, in the Skyway Systems, magazines and visitor guides in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. Fans once again saw messaging that highlights the individual role of everyday citizens to protect their neighbors and the communities they call home, by recognizing and reporting suspicious activity when using mobile applications throughout Super Bowl Weekend.
The “If You See Something, Say Something®” public awareness campaign is just one part of the support DHS provided for the Super Bowl. Hundreds of employees from DHS, and assets from across the Department, supported state and local partners charged with securing this event.
An overview of DHS Super Bowl operations is below.
DHS Operations - Super Bowl LII
- For large events such as this, the public are often our greatest resource. DHS continued its partnership with the NFL with a newly revamped “If You See Something, Say Something®” public awareness campaign. Fans and visitors in Minneapolis and St. Paul saw the “If You See Something, Say Something®” message at airports, on bus and rail systems, billboards, in the Skyway Systems, and mobile applications. The message also appeared at NFL sponsored events as well as in the game day program, the official fan guide, and on the video board during the game.
- DHS Blue Campaign—the unified voice for efforts to combat human trafficking—displayed awareness materials to help individuals and communities identify and recognize indicators of human trafficking. Blue Campaign materials were on display on local public transportation, including light rail and city buses, and on multiple digital platforms. HSI has also worked with local, state, and Federal partners (including CBP, TSA, and the FBI) and service providers to combat human trafficking in the region.
- The lead federal coordinator for all federal government security efforts was Special Agent in Charge Alex Khu, of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – Saint Paul.
- DHS provided numerous resources, including tactical assets, cargo screening capabilities and consequence management assets to state and local agencies for support. This year’s effort represents the largest deployment of federal resources and assets to any previous Super Bowl, and the largest such deployment in Minnesota’s history.
- Leading up to Super Bowl LII, the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) conducted over 200 different security assessments of the critical infrastructure in Minneapolis and throughout the state of Minnesota. In addition to working with local businesses through the Hometown Security Initiative, NPPD has also worked closely with the U.S. Bank Stadium in preparation for Super Bowl LII and enjoys a close working relationship that further enhances infrastructure security and resilience.
- On an average day, the Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) Airport screens 30,000-35,000 passengers. On the Monday following the Super Bowl, officials anticipate 69,000 passengers departing from MSP Airport. To accommodate this influx of traveling fans, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is sending more than 100 additional officers and specialists to assist in security operations In addition to Transportation Security Officers, TSA will deploy more than 20 additional Passenger Screening Canine teams, focusing on explosives detection.
- From Sunday at the conclusion of Super Bowl LII until Tuesday at midnight (about a 50+ hour period), TSA officers at MSP will have collectively worked more than 17,000 hours to efficiently screen passengers departing MSP.
- TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams, which can be comprised of Federal Air Marshals, surface/aviation transportation security inspectors, Behavioral Detection Officers, TSOs, TSA certified explosive detection canine teams and local law enforcement agencies helped secure mass transit locations.
- The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) supported open-source social media monitoring for situational awareness and has been assisting with cyber security vulnerability assessments and mitigation.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has conducted operations specifically targeting counterfeit vendors and local merchants of game-related sportswear. This is part of a crackdown on intellectual property rights violations and to ensure fans are getting official Super Bowl related memorabilia.
- This year’s Operation Team Player began at the conclusion of last year’s Super Bowl. These actions have resulted in the seizure of over 171,926 counterfeit sports- and entertainment-related items worth an estimated $15.69 million, and joint investigative efforts led to 65 arrests with 24 convictions.
- CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) is providing video imagery downlink feeds to command centers around Minneapolis as well as providing direct airspace security support to the Department of Defense’s Continental NORAD Region (CONR) which is tasked with providing overall airspace security for Super Bowl LII.
- CBP Office of Field Operations is supporting local law enforcement with security examinations of commercial vehicles entering U.S. Bank Stadium using CBP's non-intrusive Vehicle and Cargo Inspection Systems (Backscatter and VACIS).
- DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) has provided wide-ranging support to Super Bowl LII and related activities in the Minneapolis region. As with previous Super Bowl planning efforts, NPPD:
- Participated in monthly Federal Coordination Team meetings to discuss resources and planning;
- Assisted in the development and review of the Super Bowl LII “playbook,” which is a compilation of the personnel, documents, and planning efforts leading up to the Super Bowl;
- Provided security assessments and training to state and local law enforcement, local hotels, and others to help identify potential risks and to take steps needed to address them;
- Deployed law enforcement officers, including Explosive Detection Canine Teams;
- Provided priority calling through the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) and Wireless Priority Services (WPS) to qualified national security/emergency preparedness users; and
- Coordinated regional interoperability, forestalls potential problems with commercial communications carriers, and provides redundancy to communications leaders for the event.
- Since January 2016, NPPD has conducted 52 Hometown Security Initiative activities in the Minneapolis Metro area. The Hometown Security efforts provide free tools and resources to communities because the Department recognizes communities are the first line of defense in keeping the public safe and secure. These include active shooter preparedness training, bombing prevention training, and suspicious activity reporting training. DHS’s Hometown Security efforts are a way to mitigate risk and enhance the security and resilience of public gathering sites and special events.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has primary responsibility for coordination of federal emergency planning for consequence management and has been engaged with state and ESF partners for more than a year in anticipation of Super Bowl LII.
- On December 6th, 2017, the National Exercise Division (NED) supported the Minneapolis Office of Emergency Management (MOEM), the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Minneapolis Division in conducting the “Super Bowl LII Preparedness Tabletop Exercise (TTX) - Transition from Crisis to Consequence Management”. The Tabletop exercise provided an opportunity for attendees to examine courses of action for potential incidents, validate needed resources and capabilities, and familiarize attendees with the process, structure, and transition from crisis to consequence management in preparation for events leading up to and including Super Bowl LII.
- FEMA Region V provided incident and consequence management support via preparedness, response and recovery efforts to the State of Minnesota, the surrounding counties and jurisdictions in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro areas with other lead agencies as required for Super Bowl LII and its related activities. Additionally, FEMA Region V supported the emergency management planning group functions to coordinate and share preparation information for Super Bowl LII to governmental shareholders within their jurisdictions.
- FEMA deployed a Mobile Emergency Response Support detachment (MERS). FEMA’s MERS provide mobile telecommunications, life support, logistics, operational support and power generation during presidentially declared emergencies and disasters required for the on-site management of disaster response activities.
- The DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has worked with federal, state, and local government, as well as private sector partners to provide intelligence support in preparation for the Super Bowl.
- I&A provided on-site intelligence and personnel support at various centers throughout the Minneapolis area.
Secretary Nielsen tours U.S. Bank Stadium with (from left) Paul Gustafson, Alternate Deputy Federal Coordinator, ATSAIC, Minneapolis Field Office, USSS ; Glenn Sanders Deputy Federal Coordinator, Protective Security Advisor, NPPD; Jae “Alex” Khu, Federal Coordinator, SAC, St. Paul Field Office, HSI; and Scott Gerlicher, Incident Commander, Minneapolis Police Department. (DHS Official Photo/Jetta Disco)
Secretary Nielsen and NFL Senior Vice President of Security Cathy Lanier (DHS Official Photo/Jetta Disco)
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An officer with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, lays out a set of recently confiscated counterfeit Minnesota Vikings jerseys at a CBP facility in Minneapolis, Minn., Jan. 31, 2018. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Glenn Fawcett)
The Super Bowl is one of the focal points of ICE HSI Special Response Team (SRT) security efforts. HSI SRT members had a visible presence throughout Super Bowl week leading up to the game. (ICE Official Photo)
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