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  4. Secretary Mayorkas Delivers Remarks at Super Bowl Security Day Press Conference

Secretary Mayorkas Delivers Remarks at Super Bowl Security Day Press Conference

Release Date: February 7, 2024

Secretary Mayorkas delivered the following remarks during a press conference at Super Bowl Security Day in Las Vegas, NV. 

Thank you very much, Cathy, and good morning.

Last week, anyone watching the Ravens-Chiefs AFC Championship game would have noticed an unexpected and unexplained “administrative timeout” about halfway through the first quarter, delaying the game for several minutes. The timeout was called by security officials at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore when an unidentified drone flew over the stadium. It does not require much imagination to understand the significant threat such an incident could pose.

What happened in Baltimore underscores the vital importance of the mission 385 men and women from the Department of Homeland Security are carrying out here in Las Vegas this week. They, and all of us in the Department, alongside our federal, state, and local partners, are working to ensure that the 65,000 people attending Super Bowl 58, and the millions of people gathering together and enjoying the game across the country, are all safe. Our extraordinary workforce is bringing our many resources and skills to bear to do just that.

To share a few examples:

Our Office of Intelligence and Analysis, alongside the FBI, has been assessing the threat landscape leading up to the Super Bowl, and sharing timely and actionable information and intelligence with Las Vegas and the State of Nevada law enforcement.

Our Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, has conducted vulnerability assessments, multiple planning exercises, and bomb safety workshops with state and local partners.

As Chief Lanier announced, the NFL and CISA are also launching a new partnership today to encourage fans, NFL teams, and league personnel to take four simple steps to help keep themselves and their customers safe online, as part of our Secure Our World campaign. The impact of this partnership will last long after the game concludes.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, is scanning vehicles and cargo entering Allegiant Stadium for weapons, drugs, and other contraband.

CBP and the Transportation Security Administration are providing city-wide aviation security, video surveillance capabilities, and non-intrusive inspection of vehicles, cargo, and people.

Our Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office has deployed cutting-edge detection technology to safeguard against the calamity that such weapons can cause.

The DHS Blue Campaign, in partnership with Harry Reid International Airport and agents from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and CBP, is helping Las Vegas residents and visitors spot, report, and disrupt human trafficking.

We even have officers working with local law enforcement authorities to track the sale of counterfeit goods, like fake tickets, t-shirts, and hats.

Organizing all these efforts and more is the United States Secret Service, under the direction of the Federal Coordinator, Special Agent Karon Ransom, who we will hear from in a moment.

In addition, DHS and Lyft, the ride-sharing company, are launching a new, first-of-its-kind partnership today to help detect and prevent human trafficking, starting here in Las Vegas during Super Bowl week, and eventually expanding across the United States and Canada. Lyft will feature DHS Blue Campaign human trafficking resources in its driver-only in-app Learning Center, and is reaching out to Las Vegas-area drivers to ensure that they know these resources are available.

This outreach will ultimately help teach one million Lyft drivers key indicators that a rider may be a victim of human trafficking, and provide resources to help, including guidance on how to contact the right authorities. I thank Lyft CEO David Risher and his team for partnering with us to help save lives and avert tragedies, especially during Super Bowl week, when this heinous crime can be more prevalent due to the mass influx of travelers.

To be clear: there are no known, credible, specific threats to the Super Bowl or to Las Vegas at this time – but we are vigilant, and we are prepared.

Two additional points:

First: vigilance, like football, requires teamwork. None of our efforts would be as effective without the seamless collaboration of Chief Lanier and the NFL; Nevada state officials; Las Vegas city officials; local law enforcement; and the Southern Nevada Counterterrorism Fusion Center. I am grateful for their partnership, and I am incredibly proud of the DHS personnel working alongside them.

Just as important as our interagency collaboration is our partnership with the public. My ask of everyone going to the Super Bowl or coming to Las Vegas this week is to remember: if you see something, say something.

My second point is a reminder to other state and local officials. In advance of pre-planned events where security vulnerabilities are of concern, our Department’s Special Event Assessment Rating, or SEAR system, can professionally assess the event, and subsequently support state and local officials in filling local capability shortfalls. The Super Bowl is a significant, national event that requires extensive federal interagency support – but our expertise and resources are available to any locality, anywhere, whether you are hosting a major championship or a county fair.

I strongly urge every community to take advantage of these resources whenever the Department of Homeland Security can be of assistance. Our Department is ready and eager to be your partner – especially when such partnership enables our country to gather and celebrate together, safely and securely, like so many are doing in Las Vegas this special Super Bowl week.

Thank you.


Last Updated: 02/08/2024
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