Super-tight Super Bowl security could help Chicago

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Lone wolf attacks are just one of the security concerns at this year's Super Bowl. The I-Team looked into the biggest security net ever thrown over a sporting event. (WLS)

Lone wolf attacks are just one of the security concerns at this year's Super Bowl. The I-Team looked into the biggest security net ever thrown over a sporting event.

The Trump immigration order has intensified security concerns for law enforcement in Houston, not only for the Super Bowl as a possible terror target, but also as a magnet for protesters due to Houston's location so close to the Mexican border.

From radiation-detecting helicopters in the air to boots on the ground, there is a small army and air force in place protecting the Super Bowl.

"We have almost three miles of security perimeter around our venues," said Cathy Lanier, NFL Security.

The command center directed practice sessions of what is known as a tier one national security event, which looks and sounds like a military operation.

"The department will support with technology, tactical assets, counter-cyberattack resources and our homeland security information sharing capabilities," said Chip Fulghum, Department of Homeland Security.

Forty-one federal agencies and 5,000 officers are involved, some using smart-cameras to spot out-of-place vehicles and bags.

"The cameras could actually pick that up and flag that as an abnormal event and trigger an alert for us to take a look at that," said Darren Pokonene, Verizon Command Center.

Chicago security executive Jeff Cramer said what works in Houston may one day help in Chicago.

"We do learn in this environment as we go forward, not just from the Super Bowl but political events, inauguration, whatever it may be, law enforcement talks to each other," said Jeff Cramer, Berkeley Research Group Chicago.

Friday's machete attack by a lone wolf attacker in Paris is among the scenarios that Super Bowl security officials must be ready for. Strikes on so-called soft targets have Chicago security experts taking notice.

"With this kind of change in the threat landscape - where terrorists are going after these softer targets - they never know when the next one is possible to pop up," said Zach Weinburg, Truman National Security Project.

Certain to complicate the security matrix on Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence announced he is planning to attend the game, and former president George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara are scheduled to take part in the pre-game coin toss.
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