A small army of security is in place to protect the one million visitors who will be in Atlanta this week forA hard security perimeter of roughly a quarter mile will surround the where 13 of the 15 official NFL events will take place. Also in place? Thousands of downtown security cameras to make up the plan's eyes and ears.
For security officials, this is their Super Bowl, too. They've huddled for the last two years, trying to map out a lockdown defense against potential threats, reports CBS News' Mark Strassmann.
Erika Shields is Atlanta's police chief. From a security operations center she'll direct more than 40 government agencies throughout Super Bowl week. She said what she doesn't know is what keeps her up at night.
"The challenge is you're going to have everyone in one space. And so you really have to ensure that the perimeter is locked down," Shields said.
There's obvious physical security, like seven miles of fencing that rings the stadium and bomb-sniffing dogs. Every arriving truck here gets an X-ray inspections by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
They're using a Black Hawk helicopter to patrol the sky and instituting a 30-mile no-fly zone around the stadium.
"So for the outer perimeter to prevent an attack by vehicle you'll see sanitation trucks, cement barriers, water filled barricades, anything that will stop a vehicle from crashing into the crowd," Shields said.
Inside the security perimeter, what's known as the Super Bowl campus, you can spot a significant police presence. Everything from traffic barriers to law enforcement drones. But there's also security you can't see against a threat no one can see.
A massive cyberattack last year crashed the city's computers for two weeks. So disruptive, police officers making traffic stops couldn't run license plates. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Atlanta's security systems will all be backed up in case an attack were to happen.
"It was waking up from a nightmare to know that our systems had been taken down in the city," Bottoms said.
Bottoms said the city is "absolutely" more prepared for a cyberattack now than it was a year ago.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said there is no known threat against the Super Bowl but its high-profile status automatically makes it a potential target.
"It's a huge part of our culture and a lot of Americans and others will be tuning in on Sunday," Nielsen said. "As a result we all work very closely together to make sure it's a safe and secure day."
Heightened security goes on after Sunday's game ends. Atlanta's airport is the world's busiest. On Monday, an estimated 120,000 people will pass through security – double the typical number. The mayor is calling it "mass exodus Monday."
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