Homeland Security

Nuke, Bioweapons, Explosive Detection Teams on Alert for Super Bowl

Law enforcement officers take photos of each other in front of Super Bowl 50 signs while providing security at Super Bowl City on Feb. 3, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said dozens of federal agencies, including “multiple components” of DHS, will be part of massive security measures “seen and unseen” around this weekend’s Super Bowl.

The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos will face off at Levi’s Stadium, the new home for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara.

“Within the Department of Homeland Security itself, TSA, CBP, ICE, Coast Guard, the Secret Service, FEMA, our Office of Intelligence and Analysis, and our National Protection and Programs Directorate are contributing to the security of this event,” said Johnson, who met with his Super Bowl 50 security team Wednesday. “The public has a role to play too. ‘If you see something, say something’ is more than a slogan. Public vigilance and public awareness contributes to a safe and secure event.”

DHS is hoping that plastering that message around the area and in Super Bowl programming will encourage visitors to the Bay Area to report anything suspicious. The stadium will be protected by a three- to four-mile security perimeter.

The Transportation Security Administration presence at Oakland International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Mineta San Jose International Airport will be beefed up with about 100 additional officers. DHS said federal air marshals, surface/aviation transportation security inspectors, behavioral detection officers, explosive detection canine teams and local law enforcement agencies “are helping secure mass transit locations in and around the San Francisco/San Jose area.”

The Coast Guard will be conducting more patrols, and Customs and Border Protection will be charged with searching cargo coming into the stadium for the big game and halftime show for weapons or explosives. CBP will also help with security at the teams’ hotels and other NFL events.

The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office is supplying units to detect radiological and nuclear elements. while DHS’ Office of Health Affairs is prepping BioWatch detectors “to provide public health officials with a warning in the event of a biological agent release.”

In addition, 170 officers have received additional training to deal with active shooter incidents and a cybersecurity team will be overseeing the region’s infrastructure networks.

Security and NFL officials said at the Wednesday press conference that there are no specific credible threats around the Super Bowl.

The NFL cautioned fans that security will be “significantly heightened” and the league “strongly encourages fans not to bring any type of bag to the Super Bowl.” Purses larger than 4.5″ x 6.5″ are banned.

The Know Before You Fly unmanned aircraft campaign urged drone users to abide by the temporary Federal Aviation Administration restrictions within 32 nautical miles of the stadium from 2 p.m. PST to just before midnight on game day.