NJCOPS ARTICLE FOR FEBRUARY 2014 February 2, 2014 Superbowl XLVII is played in Met-Life Stadium. The week prior to the big game Met-Life Stadium was transformed, by the NFL, into a compound filled with VIP areas and tents to accommodate all of the high clients that attend these events. This whole transformation was very visible, but it was the invisible transformations made behind the scenes and out of the general public’s eye that made Superbowl XLVII a great success. When Superbowl XLVII was first announced it was billed as the first Superbowl that was to be played outdoors and in a cold weather environment, and the public jumped on board. At the same time, the law enforcement community of New Jersey and New York looked around and said “the NFL must be nuts!” To bring a Superbowl to the most densely populated, most highly traveled and most target rich environment in the world is ridiculous. This event is going to attract every type of bad guy from around the world and will bring their bad deeds to our doorstep. To the credit of all law enforcement agencies involved everyone realized that this was too big for any one agency to handle. New Jersey’s governor’s office quickly authorized that the New Jersey State Police is the lead law enforcement agency. The State Police handles all Meadowlands Events already and the NFL holds the State Police security plan as a model for every other NFL city. Met-Life Stadium does have the benefit of hosting two NFL teams and the State Police handles twice as many games as any other stadium, but the biggest reason for this success is the partnerships developed with the surrounding Local, County, State and Federal agencies. Early on in the planning process there were meetings, and then meetings, and more more meetings, and still more and more meetings! To list all the agencies represented would take up the whole article but a few were; New Jersey State Police, New York State Police, New York City Police, East Rutherford Police, Bergen County Police, Transit Police, Secaucus Police, Jersey City Police, Newark Police, FBI, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security. Now usually when you have this many cops in a room there are bound to be ego trips and in-fighting, but once the NFL laid out what goes into Superbowl planning everyone realized that there is MORE than enough work to be done. Law enforcement had the job of locking everything down without the appearance that everything was locked down! Now, yes Met-Life Stadium is the jurisdiction of the State Police, but it is in East Rutherford New Jersey, which is in Bergen County, and by the way there is a train station on sight which is handled by the Transit Police. The State Police runs frequent training events, such as active shooter exercises, at the Stadium and we have always invited other agencies to come train and become familiar with entrances, exits and layouts of the Stadium. East Rutherford Police has hosted and granted full access their buildings and facilities for staging of personnel and equipment. Bergen County Police will be adding manpower and tactical equipment to depleted resources. Transit Police has even flown other agencies to Texas for advanced courses, add YES I ate the 48 ounce steak! (Thanks Transit) I have to admit that I often questioned…why? Why so many meeting for one game? I recently had a veteran NFL worker that has been involved in the past fourteen Superbowls come to me and say “This is the smoothest and BEST Superbowl that I have ever been a part of.” The media is quick to blame law enforcement for anything they can, and the past couple of years has not been kind to law enforcement with pension issues, lack of pay, manpower and equipment. All of that did not matter in the planning, managing and execution of the security for the largest yearly event in the world. I think on February 3, 2014 every law enforcement professional that had ANY part in the planning, managing or execution of Superbowl XLVII will be extremely proud of a job well done. Stay Safe!