Bowl security plan informed by Paris attacks: U.S. official
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[February 04, 2016]
By Curtis Skinner
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - U.S. law
enforcement officials preparing for Super Bowl 50 have worked with their
French counterparts to learn from last year's deadly attacks in Paris,
as they plan safety for Sunday's big game, the Secretary of Homeland
Security said on Wednesday.
Secretary Jeh Johnson said he and his team have been "constantly" in
contact with security officials in Paris following the Nov. 13
attacks there by gunmen linked to the Islamic State militant group.
"The threat picture is different every February," Johnson told a
news conference after he toured Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara,
California, where the NFL championship game will be played.
"We are always informed by recent events and what we see in the
world situation," he said.
Johnson and other officials who addressed reporters were
tight-lipped on how the details of Super Bowl security plans might
differ from previous years in response to the attacks in the French
capital, and to a shooting rampage in December in San Bernardino,
All the federal and local law enforcement officials who spoke
stressed that there were no specific or credible threat at to the
game, or to Super Bowl related-events in the region.
But they all also urged the public to stay vigilant, repeating the
oft-heard motto "if you see something, say something."
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr's department is policing events
in so-called Super Bowl City in downtown San Francisco, 50 miles (80
km) northwest of Santa Clara. Suhr told the news conference his
officers have made some arrests, but that they were all for people
"having too much fun."
Police have kept a highly visible presence, with some officers
wearing tactical gear and carrying assault-style rifles.
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Santa Clara Police Chief Michael Sellers said his force was
preparing for possible protests, adding there would be a designated
area for demonstrations about a block from the stadium.
Jeffrey Miller, a senior NFL security official, said some 4,000
private security staff had been hired to support law enforcement at
events and the game.
Fans cannot bring in backpacks, purses, coolers or a plethora of
other prohibited items, and can expect pat downs and to pass through
metal detectors, Miller said.
"While the level of security is high ... we strongly believe that
our fans will be safe and should have no concerns after entry except
rooting their team on to victory," Miller said.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Daniel
Wallis and David Gregorio)
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