Houston will host the Super Bowl on Sunday for the third time.
February 1, 2017, 12:34 PM
• 3 min read
-- As Houston, Texas, gears up to play host to its third Super Bowl this Sunday, officials are taking no chances when it comes to the major security preparations for the annual sporting event.
While the NFL's security detail says there are no real, credible threats against Super Bowl 51, local, federal, state and private agents have worked around the clock to ensure that security is tight as NRG Stadium gears up for some 73,000 fans for football's biggest night.
"We have almost three miles of security perimeter around our venues," Cathy Lanier, the senior vice president of security for the NFL, said at a press conference.
Following terrorist attacks in Nice and Berlin last year, authorities have remained on high alert, preparing for any crisis possibility including similar vehicle style attacks.
Deputy special agent in charge at Homeland Security Investigations, Sean McElroy, said barricades are among some of the physical stops around the venue.
"The city of Houston [and] Houston Police Department actually brought in cement barricades downtown," he said. "So those cement barricades are in place and will stop any vehicles from going through."
According to officials, more than 5,000 officers will be patrolling the area, aided by SWAT teams, cyber squads, intelligence analysts and surveillance specialists.
Verizon has teamed up with authorities to provide smart cameras that will monitor any abnormal behaviors.
"If we had an object left behind or a vehicle placed where it shouldn't be, the cameras could actually pick that up and flag that as an abnormal event and trigger an alert for us to look at that," said Darren Pokonene, a solutions architect at the Verizon Command Center.
Perrye K. Turner, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Houston Division, said the security strategy will be to stay out of the way on game day so that fans can enjoy the event.
"Our goal is to be behind the scenes," Turner said. "We want everybody to enjoy the event."