DHS Drones, Face-Scanning Helicopters in Atlanta for game
On Sunday, two teams and hundreds of thousands of fans will descend on Atlanta, Georgia for the 53rd Super Bowl. Those players and fans will be protected by some 600 employees of the Homeland Security Department and a host of technology provided by the city and the federal government.
“Our Atlanta-area public safety team has done an outstanding job in developing their plan for this weekend’s activity,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said during a joint press conference Wednesday. “You can rest assured they have thought of every contingency and have worked extraordinarily hard to make this a safe and secure gameday.”
Homeland Security and FBI officials worked with local law enforcement to plan day-of operations and made recommendations to bolster security at the event, including “more than 100 different physical and cybersecurity assessments,” Nielsen said.
“In addition to what the human talent affords us, we also are relying heavily on technology. And everyone that has come to the table has brought some shape or form of that for us to leverage,” Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said.
Nick Annan, special agent in charge of the Homeland Security Investigations unit for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Georgia and the lead federal security coordinator for the Super Bowl, enumerated some of those technologies being employed.
“Numerous DHS agencies involved in Super Bowl LIII have committed in excess of 600 assets, which include: special agents, pilots, K9 dogs, handlers, advanced cargo and vehicle screening technology, special response teams, magnetometer screening trainers, air assets, mobile command centers, anti-human trafficking, counterfeit ticket and merchandise investigative teams, consequence management, bio-watch screening, you get the idea,” Annan said during the press conference.