Updated on January 30, 2019 - On February 3rd, the New England Patriots will take on the Los Angeles Rams at the 53rd Annual Super Bowl, one of the major sporting events of 2019. The event will take place at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia and more than 100,000 people will fill the stands. It's the first Super Bowl at the stadium, which opened in 2017. The Super Bowl is one of the most popular television events, and millions of viewers tune in every year to watch the most successful teams in the NFL compete and catch the famous half-time show. In 2017, CNN reported that the Super Bowl drew 111.3 million viewers, making it the fifth-most watched television event in history.
In a time where attacks on public or community spaces and large-scale events draw new concerns about security, fans might be wondering how public officials plan to manage safety at Super Bowl LII. The public safety plan for a high-profile, high-attendance sporting event like the Super Bowl must be comprehensive and will leverage technology and data. The Super Bowl is considered a Level 1 national security event, meaning the national and international profile of the game qualifies it as a credible target for terrorists.
The Atlanta city government and the Super Bowl Host Committee began planning the stadium’s security detail months in advance. Over 40 agencies will provide security for Superbowl LIII in Atlanta, coming together to form a Joint Operation Center that for more efficient communication and security as as fans flock to the city for the big game.
Super Bowl LIII Security Plan
The Super Bowl is one of the most watched televised events of the year, and the host city has spent over two years preparing security. The plan for the 2019 event takes cues from procedures safety managers saw work well during the last two Super Bowl games in Houston and Minneapolis. According to Security Today, about 75 to 100 officers will man the city's Joint Operations Center, keeping an eye on all activity around the Super Bowl. The center was created as a home base for the 40 agencies in charge of security, and in the event of an emergency personnel can use the center to share information and create a coordinated response plan.
The JOC is located at the Atlanta Public Safety Center and will house professionals called "incident commanders". Incident Commanders are stationed at 13 points around the city that deal with an event related to the Super Bowl. Every morning there is a briefing for these workers to discuss the next 24 hours and everything they saw in the last 24 hours.While there will be many law enforcement officers and various security personnel working throughout the event, the city has also installed a network ofthousands of cameras that will connect to the command center. Over 40 officers monitor these cameras at all times, using the intel with feedback from officers, as per Security Today.Meanwhile, various safety teams from the surrounding area will be on site to help the city manage safety during the massive event. The Houston County Sheriff's Office deputies and their K9 teams are on site to manage Super Bowl security. The team is on site to sweep for bomb threats and other security risks during the Super Bowl experience.There are certain specifics of the security plan that authorities will not share, but they did assure residents that areas beyond the the stadium would be secured and that officers would be visible throughout the city. According to CBS 4, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields noted that officers would work 12-hour shifts and would be positioned to quickly react to any situation that arises.In addition to security teams, the Atlanta Fire Rescue will be stationed around the city. The team will have some personnel on bicycles so they can reach patients in areas crowded with pedestrians. The Joint Operations Center will also have employees from Georgia Power and the mass transit system, which is set to be open to the community on Saturday.
Sign Up For Smart911 For Additional Super Bowl LII SafetyThe City of Atlanta has an extra layer of protection in the form of Smart911, an enhanced 911 system. The program allows residents to volunteer critical safety information, reducing 9-1-1 response times and resulting in more informed first response. Smart911 allows anyone to create a free safety profile that will automatically display to dispatch during an emergency.
Smart911 available for Atlanta residents, but anyone from out of town can also sign up to use the service. It's especially valuable for those with specific medical concerns that may require additional response efforts, but it can also provide law enforcement with information such as family names and photos, home address or personal phone numbers, or other relevant notes. The safety profile is secure, and will only be made available to law enforcement should the user dial 9-1-1. For visitors coming into town for the game, their safety profile can provide information to dispatchers should any emergency arise.
If you are in the city of Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII, can easily create their Safety Profile for the national safety database at www.Smart911.com.