Just over a year ago, Atlanta hosted the College Football Playoff National Championship game, but this week, the security levels go even higher with Super Bowl 53 in town.
About a million visitors are expected to be in Atlanta as the Rams and Patriots go head to head. And the City of Atlanta is being proactive when it comes to keeping people safe.
“The federal government uses a ranking system on sporting events or large events like the Super Bowl, and this is considered the top, S.E.A.R one, which is the highest ranking you can have below presidential inauguration,” explained Deputy Chief Scott Kreher with the Contingency Operations Division.
With the influx of people in the city, 1,700 members of the Atlanta Police Department are active and alternating in 12-hour shifts.
In addition, more than 50 local, state, and federal agencies are helping out.
Inside the Joint Operations Center, a staff of 50 plus people is able to monitor more than 10,000 cameras that are located throughout the city — and specifically inside the Super Bowl footprint.
“We support 13 different instant command locations throughout the city,” said Kreher. “So those instant commanders that are out there on the street doing the actual work report up to area command here located inside the Joint Command Center.”
Members of the Rams and Patriots have their own security detail through the NFL, although the city will help out at the team hotels and practice facilities.
This way, the players and coaches can focus on football.
“You see cops, you see the army, you see the secret service,” said Robert Woods, Rams wide receiver, adding, “You have to make sure guys are safe.”
Several members of the Atlanta Police Department were on sight for the past two Super Bowls in Houston and Minneapolis to get a better understanding of what to expect for one of the largest sporting events in the world.