When the San Francisco 49ers faced the Baltimore Ravens, fans in the New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome probably did not realize the level of security that covered them long before they made their way into the stadium. They may have been unaware of the nearly invisible protected air space that blanketed the venue hours before the kick-off and well after they left the stadium.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) once again was part of the super security team supporting New Orleans in their efforts to host a safe and secure Super Bowl XLVII experience. As part of the team, CBP brings its operational experience and assets to support their federal, state and local law enforcement partners, the National Football League (NFL) and the community.
One important role is the non-intrusive inspections of trucks, cargo, and other conveyances conducted by CBP officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents prior to entering the Superdome. These screenings began January 25 and continued to just prior to kick-off on game day. The importance of these types of screenings as well as CBP's participation in the National Security Special Event was described as three-fold by CBP Lead Field Coordinator Robert Gomez.
"We are serving as a deterrent to those who are considering smuggling contraband into the Super Dome by screening every vehicle using our non-intrusive inspection capabilities. We are prepared to take enforcement actions as needed and most important; we are integral to the overall security essential to provide a safe and secure Super Bowl XLVII experience. CBP Office of Air Marine air assets are assisting with securing the Temporary Flight Restricted zone, and supporting our law enforcement partners," Gomez said.
Finally, CBP partnerships with all law enforcement elements and the NFL permits sound decisions to be made in sorting threats both real and nuisance.
"This city has been through many events including hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Isaac and the catastrophic oil spill," Gomez said. "We've seen a lot, we've been through a lot together and we're stronger because of it. All of the men and women working security for Super Bowl XLVII have earned the highest respect and admiration of the community and visiting fans."