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Crime Trackers: Super Bowl XLIX security - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: Super Bowl XLIX security

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PHOENIX- Law enforcement is on high alert to keep the million plus visitors who will be flocking to the Grand Canyon State safe. The main draw is Super Bowl XLIX, but there are also numerous other events going on besides the Super Bowl, including the PGA's Phoenix Open.

News 4 Tucson was granted rare access into the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC).

"We look at every potential threat," said Captain Steve Harrison, Director of the ACTIC.

That's why they have eyes watching over every potential target, from downtown where the NFL experience will be held, to the stadium in Glendale.

Monitoring from 2,200 miles away is Tucson Police Sergeant Rob Brandt. He's assigned to the Special Investigations Unit.

"I will be at the National Operations Center at DHS headquarters in Washington D.C.," said Sgt. Brandt.

The 20-year veteran is the representative for ACTIC. Arizona is one of six states in the country that has a desk at the National Operations Center.

His job will be to "monitor anything that happens at a state, local, national, international level that may have an impact not only in Arizona, but on the Super Bowl itself."

Sgt. Brandt is one of many Tucson Police officers working Super Bowl XLIX. These are officers who are specially trained to do surveillance work and collect information.

"Watching suspicious players, watching suspicious activity," said Sgt. Brandt. "Anything that doesn't appear like it belongs there."

Capt. Harrison will be working closely with Sgt. Brandt.

"We monitor different camera feeds to try and be proactive to see what's going on, so as we as public safety personnel would need to take action on."

Capt. Harrison said the biggest threat is what he calls "home grown terrorists."

"We had Jared Loughner, we had Timothy McVeigh," said Capt. Harrison. "Those lone offenders are really our biggest concern for an event like this. They want their 15 minutes of fame."

Providing security on such a large scale is not new for Capt. Harrison. He was on the team for the last Super Bowl held in Arizona where they were able to thwart a "lone offender".

"We had a gentleman from Mesa go to the NFL experience. He was prepared and ready with a small arsenal, rifles, and pistols to begin shooting at people."

The would be gunman had second thoughts and turned himself into police.

"We know the threat is out there," added Sgt. Brandt. "We're a great country, nothing represents the United States more than an event like the Super Bowl. So we don't want anybody to harm that event or harm anybody at the event."

ACTIC or the Fusion center will have 24/7 coverage.

Forty law enforcement agencies will be in Maricopa County to help with security.

"We've been recognized nationally from our last Super Bowl of how to plan an event, how to work together as a collaborative public safety community," said Capt. Harrison. "And we do that extremely well in Arizona."

And they want everyone who comes to the 100 plus activities to feel safe and secure.

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