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Department of Homeland Security Teams Up with State and Local Officials to Secure Super Bowl LVII

By on February 8, 2023 0 168Views

Department of Homeland Security, in close coordination with state and local officials, is leading federal efforts to ensure the safety and security of employees, players, and fans during Super Bowl LVII. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas was in Phoenix and Glendale, Arizona this week to inspect security operations, meet with federal, state, and local law enforcement and emergency responders, and engage with National Football League (NFL) partners as the pregame week kicks off.

“At the Department of Homeland Security, our core mission is to ensure the safety of the American public – including at special events like the Super Bowl. DHS is a department of partnerships, and our efforts here rely on our partnerships with federal, state, local, tribal, and campus agencies, and of course, the NFL,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Dedicated DHS personnel are on the ground preparing and coordinating, and stand ready to provide operational and technical support to the NFL, State of Arizona, and the cities of Glendale and Phoenix to keep Super Bowl LVII safe and ensure everyone can enjoy the game.”

DHS’s support for Super Bowl LVII includes more than 600 personnel providing extensive air security resources; venue, cyber, and infrastructure security assessments; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives detection technologies; intelligence analysis and threat assessments; intellectual property enforcement; and real-time situational awareness reporting for our partners.

The Department has not identified any credible threats related to this event. However, DHS, in collaboration with our partners, continues to support operational capabilities to secure the event, curtail the sale of counterfeit goods, counter potential threats from the air, including unmanned aircraft systems, and prevent other criminal activities in support of local efforts.

To secure Super Bowl LVII, DHS is bringing extensive federal resources to bear, in coordination with state and local partners and the NFL:

  • DHS is continuing our partnership with the NFL on the “If You See Something, Say Something®” public awareness campaign during the Super Bowl. The campaign is using social media, displays within the stadium, and advertising throughout the Phoenix and Glendale areas to raise public awareness of the importance of reporting terrorism-related suspicious activity.
  • The DHS Blue Campaign is partnering with the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center, Arizona Human Trafficking Council, and Arizona Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, on digital and out-of-home advertising in the Glendale and Phoenix area to spread awareness of human trafficking. Blue Lightning Initiative is partnering with local area airports, to raise awareness and train staff to recognize and report human trafficking.
  • Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) is providing subject matter experts and technology to detect and prevent potential WMD threats.
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is providing assets including aviation security, video surveillance capabilities and non-intrusive inspection of vehicles and cargo. CBP officers are scanning the cargo entering the stadium for contraband such as narcotics, weapons, and explosives.
  • Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is providing physical security, as well as cyber and communications expertise and resources in support of the event. Leading up to Super Bowl LVII, CISA conducted physical and cybersecurity vulnerability assessments; provided communications planning and support; led multiple exercises; and held bombing prevention workshops with state and local partners.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) units to ensure that, in the event of an emergency, state and local security personnel can quickly link and coordinate with federal partners. MERS provides mobile telecommunications, operational support, life support, and power generation assets for the on-site management in the event of a natural or man-made incident or act of terrorism. The agency will maintain situational awareness, report incidents, and activate federal response partners as deemed necessary to protect public health, restore essential services, and lead emergency relief and recovery efforts.
  • Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Response Team will provide interior stadium tactical support. CBP and HSI will conduct operations specifically targeting counterfeit vendors and merchants of game-related sportswear. This is part of enhanced enforcement efforts related to intellectual property rights violations to ensure fans are getting official, and safe, memorabilia.
  • Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) conducts Joint Special Event Threat Assessments with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assess the threat landscape leading up to the Super Bowl. I&A has worked with its partners to develop assessments of potential threats from actors seeking to target the Super Bowl and share relevant intelligence with federal, state, and local partners.
  • The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in partnership with Arizona state and local agencies, developed toxic chemical release scenarios and analyzed the potential public health impact associated with those scenarios. This information informed the readiness posture of state and local agencies in the region. Additionally, S&T provided SAFETY Act Designation protections to the NFL’s Security and Special Events Management Services as an eligible Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology. These services include security measures used by NFL Security Department personnel and independent contractors at host venues for NFL-sponsored special events, including the Super Bowl.
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is deploying multiple Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams and explosives detection canine teams in support of Super Bowl LVII.  They will work with their federal, state, and local stakeholders to sweep the stadium, other essential facilities, and secure mass transit locations in and around the Glendale area.
  • On Super Bowl Sunday, the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center will partner with the NFL to host a tip line where the public and game attendees can report suspicious activity. For attendees within State Farm Stadium, they may call 623-433-7156 or text 623-400-2210. Outside of the stadium, the public may call 1-877-429-8477 or call local authorities.

Merchandise Warning

In partnership with DHS’s National Center for Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, they are warning consumers in Arizona and the U.S. about being duped by fake Super Bowl merchandise.

The message to consumers is simple: purchase from reputable dealers, be cautious when shopping online, and use common sense. DHS provide some tips on how to avoid purchasing knock off merchandise:

  • Only shop at authorized retail locations, such as the official team stores rather than buying items from street vendors, flea markets, online auctions, or other questionable retailers.
  • When purchasing merchandise online, be aware that criminals often use true product photos on their websites despite, but selling a fraudulent product. It is advised not to buy expensive items from third-party websites.
  • Only buy event tickets and or collectibles from authorized dealers. Buying online from a non-NFL affiliate may be risky since there is no way of knowing if a re-sell digital ticket is real until game time. Even if a ticket looks real, it may be one that has been reported lost or stolen, which means the person holding it will not be granted entry into the stadium.
  • If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. While some counterfeiters may attract fans with a low price tag or 2-for-1 deal, just as many try to legitimize their merchandise with a higher price point.
  • Look out for ripped tags, poor quality, sloppy stitching, or irregular markings on apparel.
  • Check your statements. Keep a record of your purchases and copies of confirmation pages, and compare them to your bank statements. If there is a discrepancy, report it immediately.

If a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is and is likely to either be a rip-off.

The Department, in partnership with its law enforcement partners, reminds the public to be aware of suspicious activity and how to report it to local authorities. By staying alert, you can protect your Super Bowl experience. If you see something that looks suspicious, say something.