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Detroit police chief touts law enforcement partnerships to keep the NFL Draft safe for all

A look at the 2024 NFL Draft law enforcement partnership
A look at the 2024 NFL Draft law enforcement partnership 02:17

(CBS DETROIT) – When the 2024 NFL Draft kicks off in one week, it'll be a chance for Detroit to reintroduce itself to the country, and part of that is making sure the event is safe and goes off without a hitch. 

While Detroit has hosted events bigger than the NFL Draft, Detroit Police Chief James White says those usually last a few hours, not three days. 

"So you'll have a flood of people on day one, but then you will have some Day Two folks that will be coming in, so it'll be a very fluid process. The numbers will change day to day, and it creates a unique opportunity to police," White said. 

Andres Gutierrez/CBS Detroit

So, over the last year, Detroit has examined the security playbook from previous host cities like Kansas City and Las Vegas to develop its own, which will depend heavily on support from other local, state, and federal partners. 

"We have flown in our explosive, accelerant canine teams from across the country. We also have the Michigan ATF SRT tactical team on standby for this event, and our crime gun intelligence center has been monitoring social media for any type of threat," Special Agent in Charge for the ATF Detroit Field Division, James Deir, said. 

On the ground, the Michigan State Police will send at least 50 troopers to patrol the NFL Draft footprint daily, while the Wayne County Sheriff's Office will assign 70 deputies to the event. 

"We will be in uniform, out and about in the area, making sure that the people see us, that they feel protected," Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington said. "And where they don't see us, they should know that we're still there." 

The commissioner for the Detroit Fire Department said the department will set up four medical tents and have six additional ambulances during the three-day event.

Fire inspectors will also patrol to ensure businesses are complying with capacity restrictions.

The high-profile event is happening as FBI director Christopher Wray said last week that there is growing fear among law enforcement of a "coordinated attack" inside the U.S. 

Wray said the most immediate concern is that lone wolves will draw 'twisted inspiration' from what's happening in the Middle East.

"We're acutely aware of that. And we'll be monitoring for that type of behavior and those types of threats," White said. 

So, the local FBI field office is integrating itself within DPD's command structure to help identify and mitigate any possible threat.

"We are on an international stage," White said. I'm excited for the City of Detroit to show the world that we are prepared, both with law enforcement and the community, to have a safe and welcoming event." 

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