PHOENIX (AP) â€” The police agencies responsible for patrolling the Super Bowl say they’re not aware of any threat so far to the biggest single-day sporting event in the country, but they’ve organized a massive build up of security just in case.
FBI Special Agent John Lewis said Monday that authorities have heard only “what I would call fairly routine, very small incoming complaints about somebody wanting to do this or that.
“That’s very typical in these types of cases,” he said.
Nevertheless, with millions of people focused on the Super Bowl in Glendale, federal security officials have again designated the game a “level one” special event, just below President George Bush’s State of the Union address.
This year’s Super Bowl festivities also will be complicated by another major sporting event, the FBR Open golf tournament, going on simultaneously in Scottsdale. Security agencies have been meeting for 15 months to ensure that they keep an organized watch over the entire metro area this week.
Glendale Police Lt. Matt Apodaca said more than 800 officers from numerous city agencies will patrol a 2-square-mile security zone around the University of Phoenix Stadium. Apodaca said officers on horseback, on foot and in motorized carts will mingle with fans who are attending the game and the NFL Experience, a weeklong festival nearby.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will bring packs of Labrador retrievers that are trained to sniff out compounds that are common among most explosives.
“We bring in our dogs because they are, quite frankly, the best in the federal government,” ATF Special Agent Tom Mangan said.
Police also have installed security cameras throughout the stadium area.
–Chris Kahn, Associated Press Writer