TAMPA BAY, Fla. – No violent threats for the Super Bowl yet, but more Florida arrests. That’s the answer FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson gave Florida National News during the NFL’s Super Bowl LV Security press briefing at the Tampa Convention Center Wednesday.
Florida National News asked what impact the recent arrest of Floridians involved in the January 6th insurrection on the U.S. Capitol had on the agencies’ preparation for Super Bowl LV. Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske answered first, stating that the DHS routinely communicates with regional and state law enforcement agencies to keep each other apprised of the latest information in ongoing investigations–including the siege on the U.S. Capitol–and will continue doing so.
Key Law Enforcement Leaders for Super Bowl LV
Top leaders for each respective law enforcement agency involved with securing Super Bowl LV spoke at Wednesday’s press briefing:
- Cathy Lanier, Chief Security Officer, NFL
- David Pekoske, Acting Deputy Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
- Scott McAllister, Director of the Southeast Coastal Region, Homeland Security Investigations
- Michael McPherson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI
- Chief Brian Dugan, Chief of Police, City of Tampa
- Sheriff Chad Chronister, Sheriff, Hillsborough County
Main Areas of Safety Focus
The leaders stressed the main areas they’re closely monitoring for the Super Bowl: human trafficking (both sex and human labor), security issues, and emergencies that may arise.
COVID-19 safety precautions remain as usual: facemasks will be required to attend the game, ticketing will be touchless, and social distancing will be in place. Just as during the season, Raymond James Stadium attendance for the Super Bowl will not be at full capacity in the name of safety.
Super Bowl LV Safety Status
So far, according to Special Agent McPherson, there are currently “no credbile threats at this moment” connected to Super Bowl LV, but they will continue to monitor the situation leading up to and on Super Bowl Sunday.
Special Agent McPherson also made clear that the Super Bowl is a “no drone zone. If you own a drone, leave your drones home,” he stated. The FAA has temporary restrictions in place for the Super Bowl, including the prohibition of these devices. McPherson added that any drone operator that doesn’t comply “could face civil penalites in exceeding $30,000 and criminal prosecution.”
Given the COVID-19 restrictions still present, Super Bowl LV festivities have been altered to consider public safety, including social distancing, virtual events in some cases, and a strong focus on wearing face coverings. On game day, Acting Deputy Secretary Pekoske stated that while the game is happening in the stadium, his and the other collaborating agencies will be working around it.
“The only thing we want you worrying about is who will win the game,” said Special Agent McPherson. “Please leave the rest of the worrying to us. Have fun and enjoy the game.”
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News is is part of the Super Bowl LV coverage team. | email@example.com