Napolitano discusses DHS's Super Bowl security plans

Wednesday - 2/2/2011, 11:45am EST

Janet Napolitano, Secretary, DHS

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Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Monday, Jan. 31, 2011 in Dallas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

As hundreds of thousands of people make their way to and around the Dallas, Texas area taking part in Super Bowl events, employees of more than 60 government agencies continued planning for the massive, coordinated security effort for the event.

Ordinarily, that would be challenge enough, but a winter storm this week brought ice, temperatures in the teens and subzero wind chill readings outside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

"Our poor federal employees," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Federal News Radio, "who are down there working with the local police departments and so forth, outside - I was there Monday and you could see the storm coming in. It's pretty darn cold."

Of course that won't keep the planning from continuing, "and I can say right now," said Napolitano, "we have no specific or credible threat about anything at the Super Bowl. We'd like to keep it that way, but we also want to make sure that we have planned in case something untoward were to happen. In case something were to get through all of the systems that are in place."

Planning for an event like the Super Bowl is always a work in progress, but this work began even before the last one ended.

"We actually begin more than a year prior to the Super Bowl," Napolitano told the Federal Drive, "and we help coordinate the federal resources and make sure that the security plan has all the attributes necessary to ensure that the game is a safe and secure one for all the fans in attendance and everybody around."

The local police are the lead agency in the effort, said Napolitano, not DHS. All local police departments are involved since there events scheduled all around the Dallas area.

"And then we come in, DHS, and ICE, as a matter of fact, ...we have an individual from ICE who's the lead federal coordinator."

Napolitano said DHS provides inspection equipment for vehicles, canine teams, and the like. "We will make sure that first response capacity is appropriate."

FBI would be lead in case of attack.

Napolitano said part of the reason she was in Dallas this week was to make sure "lines of communication were clean, they were easy to understand, everybody knew what to do, how to use them."

While she won't be in Dallas to see the game in person, the Secretary added, "I'll just say that I hope we have a great close game."