MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Miami-Dade police were conducting security sweeps of Hard Rock Stadium on Monday in the hours before the Orange Bowl was set to kick off.
"We started here this morning at 6 a.m. and we'll be here until the end of the game," Lt. Jeff Schmidinger said.
Officers were relying on specially trained K-9s to help sweep the stadium for potential hazards before the gates open to the public.
"All our dogs are certified through (the Florida Department of Law Enforcement)," Schmidinger said. "We certify every year. We train minimum of 16 hours a month."
Police were using more than 20 K-9s to sweep the stadium throughout the day.
"We're also bringing in dogs from the port, as well as the Miami International Airport," Schmidinger said.
That's just the start of some of the extra security measures put in place ahead of the game between No. 6 Florida (10-2, No. 9 College Football Playoff) and Virginia (9-4, No. 24 CFP).
Miami-Dade police will have its special response team and aviation units in service during the game.
With the Super Bowl being played in less than a month, police said they're planning to use the Orange Bowl as a potential training run.
“The nice thing about this is, you know, we do it every year,” Schmidinger said. “But this is just a stepping stool toward the Super Bowl.”