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Federal, State, local agencies team up for Super Bowl LVI security in Los Angeles

Super Bowl Football
Posted at 9:04 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 21:05:41-05

It is the big game. And potentially, a big target.

"I want you to know that we are prepared to respond to threats 24 hours a day," FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Special Agent Amir Ehsaei said. 

As football fans like Jill Thomas and her brother Charles arrive in Los Angeles this week, they can't help but notice unprecedented levels of security. 

"Personally, I like the security," Jill said. "And I think we need it. Because I know that we are vulnerable right now."

Officials say there's a lot more of it that's invisible. 

"The biggest challenge here is just the enormity of this event," NFL Chief Security Officer Cathy Lanier said. "And that goes along with the enormity of the stadium."

More than 70,000 fans will crowd into SoFi stadium this Sunday. To keep them safe, hundreds of local cops are getting an assist from an alphabet soup of federal agencies — FBI, ICE, FEMA.  

"The office of countering weapons of mass destruction, to make sure that explosive devices do not enter the perimeter," U.S. Department of Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas said. "We do so much that people will see in terms of physical security, and so much behind the scenes that people will not see."

Forty federal, state and local agencies have been planning for this Super Bowl for about two years. 

"We've been working together in the most integrated law enforcement environment in the United States of America," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "Not just Super Bowl, but whether it's the Oscars, Grammys, or many of the big events that we do."

The perimeter of SoFi stadium is locked down. Drones are banned. Fans will only be able to bring clear plastic bags inside. Security is extremely tight. Authorities say there are no specific threats to the Super Bowl LVI but if there are, they say they are ready.

Officials also say they're also putting a high priority in watching for problems outside the stadium, like counterfeiting, prostitution and human trafficking. 

The LAPD chief says despite the number of police officers dedicated to the Super Bowl, they'll still have enough to go around. 

"Be assured your patrols, your local stations and your local areas are being staffed fully," Chief Michael Moore said. "There will be ample resources in our areas to support a celebration, I believe, is inevitable."

This story was originally published by Clayton Sandell of Newsy.