Practice makes perfect as Super Bowl security personnel simulate emergency response

Communication is key with more than 40 agencies, 4,000 security guards working together

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – With the Super Bowl set to kick off in two months, security personnel and administrators are using valuable time to simulate inter-agency emergency responses.

After nearly a year-and-a-half of planning and preparation with more than 40 agencies at the local, state and federal level and multiple command centers, plus 4,000 private security guards at and around the venue for game day and related activities, Monday’s simulation exercises focused on making sure communication is flawless.

“What we do in these exercises is we make sure that information flows quickly, efficiently and everybody’s plugged in,” NFL chief security officer Kathy Lanier said. “Everything from weather to an act of terrorism to crime. We (have to) prepare for everything.”

Monday’s exercise, which was closed to the media, is a way for personnel to walk through real-time communication and emergency response procedures between the different agencies.

“With the Super Bowl being one of the most watched and attended events in the world, every detail, every risk and every scenario needs a throrough plan,” Raymond Martinez, executive director of the Miami Super Bowl LIV Host Committee, said.

When Super Bowl LIV kicks off Feb. 2, it will mark South Florida’s 11th time hosting the game. According to HCP Media, an official partner of the Miami Super Bowl LIV Host Committee, more than 150,000 people are expected to descend upon South Florida during the week leading up to the game.

“This really lays the foundations for any other event that comes to South Florida,” Martinez said. “If there is a critical incident at any time, the ability of the agencies to work together is just priceless.”

Super Bowl week officially begins on Jan. 27, 2020 at Marlins Park with an opening night event that will see Marlins Park transformed into a one-of-a-kind showcase featuring the AFC and NFC Champions.

“At this point, we’ve brought everything together so we’re just putting on the final touches to our preparation,” FBI Special Agent George Piro said.

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