Written by CHRISTOPHER WEBER Associated Press
(AP) — There are no known security threats to the Super Bowl, authorities said Tuesday as they outlined the coordinated law enforcement effort to keep the game at SoFi Stadium and the Los Angeles region safe.
Fans attending the game can expect an enormous police presence at the stadium, which will have a tightly monitored security perimeter. Meanwhile patrol officers, tactical teams, K-9 units and paramedics will be been deployed across Los Angeles County in the runup to the NFL championship game between the LA Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at least 500 members of his department are devoted to safety for the big game, including agents focused on ferreting out cyber threats and preventing human trafficking.
“We have no information of a specific, credible threat against the Super Bowl,” said Mayorkas. “What this is all about is planning and preparation to prevent any incident from occurring.”
The city police department in Inglewood, where the stadium is located, is the lead local law enforcement agency. It will coordinate with the Los Angeles Police Department and the LA County Sheriff’s Department.
About 400 deputies were dedicated to the Super Bowl, including extra patrols for the county’s transit system, said Jack Ewell, chief of the sheriff’s Special Operations Division.
Inglewood Police Chief Mark Fronterotta said his officers will focus on preventing fights between fans, after a San Francisco 49ers fan suffered a brain injury during an altercation outside SoFi during the NFC championship game last month.
“The parking lots will be extensively covered,” Fronterotta said.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said there has been no disorderly behavior at pre-Super Bowl activities at the downtown LA Convention Center. The LAPD has canceled some scheduled time off to ensure the department has enough staff for all the week’s events, including a possible victory parade for the Rams, Moore said.
Only small, clear bags will be allowed inside the stadium on game day, though fans are encouraged to bring as little as possible with them.
“If you want to breeze through security, less is more. The less you bring, the faster you go through security, said Cathy Lanier, the NFL’s chief security officer.
Security measures extend to the skies too. The North American Aerospace Defense Command, known as NORAD, planned a defense exercise on Tuesday for the airspace over greater Inglewood. On Sunday, U.S. Air Force fighter jets will enforce the temporary flight-restricted zone in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration, the FBI and other agencies.
The FAA warned that drone operators who fly unmanned aircraft into the restricted area could face large fines and potential criminal prosecution.