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Super Bowl security: What is DHS doing to protect 1 million people in Las Vegas?

Feb 9

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More than a million people will be in Las Vegas over the weekend, with hundreds of thousands descending on Sin City for Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11. Keeping everyone safe is a tall task, but federal, state and local authorities have been mapping out Super Bowl security measures in Vegas for more than a year.

The Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement are concerned with the safety of the 65,000 people set to attend the game and a million more in the city.

“The Department of Homeland Security, alongside our federal, state, and local partners, is working to ensure that the 65,000 people attending Super Bowl LVIII and the millions of people gathering together and enjoying the game across the country are all safe,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “There are no known, credible, specific threats to the Super Bowl or to Las Vegas at this time – but we are vigilant, and we are prepared.”

Like the Chiefs and 49ers on the field, DHS officials said teamwork has been and will be the key. Already, DHS has 385 people on the ground in Las Vegas to provide security resources for its partners, such as the FBI, Secret Service, TSA, CIA, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Coast Guard.

“We have FBI personnel stationed in our own emergency operations center and in every joint command post and intelligence center operating throughout the Las Vegas Valley,” said Spencer Evans, special agent in charge of the FBI Las Vegas field office.

Evans said the FBI has analysts working around the clock to flag any cyber or physical security threats, and they have response teams ready to assist local first responders if anything were to happen. The Las Vegas sheriff said the city is ready for whatever may come.

“I would just say to you that no city is better prepared,” Sheriff Kevin McMahill said.

And there’s another layer of protection in Vegas on top of these security measures — literally. The California Air National Guard is taking to the skies to police the protected airspace around Allegiant Stadium. Any plane, chopper, or drone that tries to enter will have to answer to them.

With kickoff inching closer, the DHS is making one request to those visiting the city.

“My ask of everyone going to the Super Bowl or coming to Las Vegas this week is to remember: if you see something, say something,” Mayorkas said.

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RUCKER: TV’S MOST WATCHED EVENT IS SUNDAY. 

MORE THAN A MILLION PEOPLE WILL BE IN LAS VEGAS OVER THE WEEKEND. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS DESCENDING ON SIN CITY FOR SUPER BOWL 58.

KEEPING EVERYONE SAFE IS A TALL TASK.

FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES HAVE BEEN MAPPING OUT SECURITY MEASURES IN VEGAS FOR MORE THAN A YEAR.

FOR MOST FOLKS HOSTING A WATCH PARTY AT HOME, THE BIGGEST CONCERN THEY’LL FACE WILL BE  KEEPING THE BEER COLD AND THE CHICKEN WINGS HOT.

BUT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT, THEIR CONCERN IS THE SAFETY OF   65-THOUSAND PEOPLE AT THE GAME AND A MILLION MORE IN THE CITY.

DHS SECRETARY ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS: “TO BE CLEAR. TO BE CLEAR. THERE ARE NO KNOWN, CREDIBLE, SPECIFIC THREATS TO THE SUPER BOWL OR TO LAS VEGAS AT THIS TIME. BUT WE ARE VIGILANT AND WE ARE PREPARED.”

RUCKER: LIKE THE CHIEFS AND 49ERS ON THE FIELD, DHS OFFICIALS SAYING TEAMWORK HAS BEEN AND WILL BE THE KEY.

NEARLY 400 DHS PERSONNEL ARE ON THE GROUND IN VEGAS TO PROVIDE SECURITY RESOURCES FOR ITS PARTNERS.

PARTNERS LIKE THE FBI, SECRET SERVICE, TSA, CIA, THE CYBERSECURITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY AGENCY, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, AND THE COAST GUARD.

FBI SPECIAL AGENT SPENCER EVANS: “WE HAVE FBI PERSONNEL STATIONED IN OUR OWN EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER AND IN EVERY JOINT COMMAND POST AND INTELLIGENCE CENTER OPERATING THROUGHOUT THE LAS VEGAS VALLEY.”

RUCKER: FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE OF THE LAS VEGAS FIELD OFFICE, SPENCER EVANS SAYS THE FBI HAS ANALYSTS WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK TO FLAG ANY THREAT — BOTH CYBER AND PHYSICAL.  AND HAVE RESPONSE TEAMS READY TO ASSIST LOCAL FIRST RESPONDERS IN THE EVENT ANYTHING WERE TO HAPPEN.

THE LAS VEGAS SHERIFF says THE CITY IS READY for anything.

SHERIFF KEVIN MCMAHILL: “I WOULD JUST SAY TO YOU THAT NO CITY IS BETTER PREPARED.”

RUCKER: AND THERE IS ANOTHER LAYER OF PROTECTION IN VEGAS ON TOP OF ALL OF THAT …  LITERALLY. A LAYER THAT YOU MAY NOT SEE… UNLESS YOU LOOKED WAY UP.

THE CALIFORNIA AIR NATIONAL GUARD IS TAKING TO THE SKIES THIS WEEKEND TO POLICE THE PROTECTED AIRSPACE AROUND ALLEGIANT STADIUM. ANY PLANE, CHOPPER, OR DRONE** THAT TRIES TO ENTER, WILL HAVE TO ANSWER TO THEM

WITH KICKOFF INCHING CLOSER, MANY PEOPLE – NOT JUST THE PLAYERS – ARE READY FOR THEIR NUMBER TO BE CALLED IF NEEDED.

AND, THE FEDS HAVE A REQUEST OF FANS

Mayorkas: “MY ASK OF EVERYONE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL OR COMING TO LAS VEGAS THIS WEEK IS TO REMEMBER: IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.”

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