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DHS federal and local agents ascend on Atlanta to assure safety and security

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Super Bowl LIII comes to the south playing in the new Mercedes Benz Stadium February 2, 2019.  The players and coaching staff of both teams have been preparing for this important game all year.  Atlanta Georgia has been preparing for this as well for the past 2 years.  City and county municipalities,  first responders, emergency personnel, fire departments along mutual aid from outlying areas have come together to with an incident command playbook that is perhaps just as important as the playbook of either football team.  This orchestrated effort to assure safety and security of the players, coaches, fans, visitors etc. is short of phenomenal.

On Sunday, two teams and hundreds of thousands of fans will descend on Atlanta, Georgia for the 53rd Super Bowl. Those players and fans will be protected by some 600 employees of the Homeland Security Department and a host of technology provided by the city and the federal government.

“Our Atlanta-area public safety team has done an outstanding job in developing their plan for this weekend’s activity,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said during a joint press conference Wednesday. “You can rest assured they have thought of every contingency and have worked extraordinarily hard to make this a safe and secure gameday.”

Homeland Security and FBI officials worked with local law enforcement to plan day-of operations and made recommendations to bolster security at the event, including “more than 100 different physical and cybersecurity assessments,” Nielsen said.

“In addition to what the human talent affords us, we also are relying heavily on technology. And everyone that has come to the table has brought some shape or form of that for us to leverage,” Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said.

Nick Annan, special agent in charge of the Homeland Security Investigations unit for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Georgia and the lead federal security coordinator for the Super Bowl, enumerated some of those technologies being employed.

“Numerous DHS agencies involved in Super Bowl LIII have committed in excess of 600 assets, which include: special agents, pilots, K9 dogs, handlers, advanced cargo and vehicle screening technology, special response teams, magnetometer screening trainers, air assets, mobile command centers, anti-human trafficking, counterfeit ticket and merchandise investigative teams, consequence management, bio-watch screening, you get the idea,” Annan said during the press conference.

See more from the DHS secretary Kirtjen Nielsen

As part of a partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s First Responder Outreach, Verizon has profiled a dozen different NFL stars, from quarterback AJ McCarron to Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews — all of whom have been saved by a first responder at some point in their lives. Each story, shared along with many more at, shows support for a community that not only saved 12 athletes’ lives but serves around the country on a daily basis.

Football fans — any any others — who have been helped by first responders or merely want to pay tribute to their service are encouraged to visit to share their stories or contribute to the cause. They’ll also catch a glimpse of Verizon’s full-length, CBS Sports Network-created documentary, “The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here,” set to air Monday, Feb. 4 (the day after the Super Bowl) at 9 p.m., with the touching Super Bowl LIII ad campaign.

Click here for the entire video


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