Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Multimedia/Photo

February 2, 2012

Super security goes into place for Super Bowl

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

City police have also been working with the FBI’s counter-terrorism unit, which tracks terror "chatter" over the Internet and on social media sites. Napolitano said Wednesday there’s been no credible threat surrounding the Super Bowl.

Still, sweeping anti-terror measures have been part of the Super Bowl since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The game is designated a top-level security event, just a rung below a visit from the president.

So ticket holders will be subject to strict security rules: No big bags, no umbrellas, no laser lights, no beach balls, no noisemakers and no other things seen as potentially dangerous.

Ticket-holders will also pass through metal detectors to be screened for weapons. And they’ll be asked to be vigilant: The NFL has adopted a security initiative launched with last year’s Super Bowl in Dallas that uses the slogan: "If You See Something, Say Something." It encourages fans to text, call or otherwise notify law enforcement if they see something suspicious.

Meanwhile, Indianapolis police have also beefed up their efforts to curb crime that Straub says "routinely goes up" during major sporting events. City police, for example, have increased their undercover work, both on the streets and on the Internet, posing as prostitutes to catch unsuspecting "clients."

Another weapon that the Super Bowl host city is employing is a group of about 300 ministers, who’ve partnered with Indianapolis police before to fight teenage-gang crime. Straub said those ministers will be out on the streets Super Bowl weekend, using their pastoral skills to help keep the peace. They’ll be asked to be on the lookout for angry sports fans looking to pick a fight -- and if they spot such troublemakers, to talk them down.

"I don’t expect a lot of that," Straub said. "But all it takes at an event like this is two people who’ve had too much to drink and one of them gets mouthy."

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Maureen Hayden is Statehouse bureau chief for CNHI’s Indiana newspapers. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com .

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