As fans flocked to the Los Angelas, CA, area for Super Bowl LVI in Inglewood in February, behind the scenes hundreds of federal agents worked with local law enforcement to keep the public safe.
The Department of Homeland Security gathered more than 500 personnel to provide extensive air and maritime security resources; anti-human trafficking prevention and enforcement support; intellectual property enforcement; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives detection technologies; venue, cyber, and infrastructure security assessments; intelligence analysis and threat assessments; and real-time situational awareness reporting. The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) was the federal coordinator for this event, leading coordination and integration efforts across federal, state, and local partners that are supporting the safety and security of this event.
“The Department of Homeland Security is fundamentally a department of partnerships, and those partnerships are critical to ensuring the safety and security of Super Bowl operations as well as that of the surrounding community,” says Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
As with past Super Bowls, this event was voluntarily submitted to DHS for a risk assessment. DHS classified this event as a Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR) Level 1, meaning that DHS determined this event to be significant, with national and international importance, and requiring extensive federal support.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) provided explosive detection canine teams and maritime security assets while the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) provided subject matter experts and technology to detect and prevent any potential threats related to weapons of mass destruction.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) deployed assets including aviation security, video surveillance capabilities, and executed non-intrusive inspection of vehicles and cargo support. CBP officers scanned vehicles and cargo entering the stadium for contraband such as narcotics, weapons, and explosives.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) worked with federal, state, and local authorities to identify, assess, and mitigate risks to critical infrastructure in Los Angeles. CISA also was a liaison for private communications companies supporting the event and conducted cybersecurity vulnerability assessments, multiple planning exercises, and bomb safety workshops with state and local partners. During the Super Bowl, CISA supported emergency communications and monitored potential risks to critical infrastructure.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) deployed Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) units to ensure that state and local security personnel could quickly coordinate with federal partners in the event of an emergency. MERS provides mobile telecommunications, operational support, life support, and power generation assets needed to respond to a natural or man-made incident or an act of terrorism.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) deployed a task force to identify and combat human trafficking, as well as intellectual property enforcement teams to the City of Inglewood. CBP and HSI conducted operations targeting counterfeit vendors and merchants of game-related sportswear as part of a crackdown on intellectual property rights violations.
The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to assess the threat landscape leading up to the Super Bowl. I&A shares timely and actionable information and intelligence with state and local law enforcement.
The Office of Operations Coordination (OPS) shared information 24/7 with federal, state, and local partners. Additionally, OPS deployed a support cell that provided support to the federal coordination team and field reporting to ensure situational awareness with our partners. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) deployed multiple explosive detection canine teams as an added layer of security in key locations. TSA Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams also augmented local law enforcement efforts.
The DHS Blue Campaign used a two-week digital advertising campaign to increase awareness about human trafficking. The campaign targeted adult residents of and visitors to the Inglewood area.