By Bryan Stauffer
Chemical, biological and radiological air monitors.
Facial Recognition Software.
Undercover law enforcement.
Put all of these together, in addition to numerous other safety precautions and security personnel, and you have one of the most secured and tightly monitored areas that could ever be assembled.
Those were the precautionary measures taken by the NFL as they prepared for the near 400,000 people that would be in the area during the biggest sporting event in the country, the Super Bowl.
After spending nearly $11 million on security preparations for Super Bowl XLVIII, the NFL was poised to tackle any and every problem imaginable.
But as one security expert put it, “The greatest threats are the ones that haven’t been anticipated.”
With that being said, the league made sure it was primed for any mishap or attack that could stem from all possible locations: on the ground, around the stadium, in the skies, and off-site.
On the ground, observation towers were equipped with security cameras and air-quality monitors, armored vehicles stood by for victim recovery situations, FCC enforcement vehicles employed technology to detect illegal frequencies, and backscatter vans contained high-powered X-ray machines that could see through clothing, vehicles and even buildings.
Around the stadium, fencing created an exclusionary zone extending 300 feet from its exterior, marine vessels patroled backwaters and bridges, and vehicle and cargo inspection stations were set up to screen for weapons or drugs.
In the air, helicopters provided surveillance and enforced a flight restriction zone, fighter jets stood by at nearby bases and could be on-site within minutes, drones surveyed MetLife’s surroundings, particularly the swampy Meadowlands, and a temporary flight restriction zone was put in place within 30 nautical miles of the stadium.
Off-site, the Intelligence Operations Center, a counterterrorism database, and the Joint Operations Center & Public Safety Command Post, which has camera views of the entire stadium and throughout New Jersey, provided additional assistance in securing the area.
After all, an event this super requires a superior effort from all parties involved, especially the security, when it comes to the safety of hundreds of thousands of people.
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