SUPER BOWL PLANNING INVOLVES MANY AGENCIES
While Super Bowl fans planned for the best of sports entertainment, emergency managers and law enforcement officials prepared to protect them from the threat of the worst. Fortunately, Super Bowl XLV took place without incident at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Feb. 6.
But behind the scenes, hundreds of individuals were involved in planning and providing security for the game itself, as well as many events leading up to the game that took place throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Key personnel from the Texas Department of Public Safety and its divisions, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management, spent weeks working with federal agencies, state agency members of the Governor’s Emergency Management Council and teams from out of state to prepare.
TDEM Regional Liaison Officer Lanita Magee of Region 1 said the event doubled as “an excellent training and coordination opportunity. We have been privileged to work with so many good, hardworking and skilled people at so many agencies. Not only have we had good professional relationships but, in many cases, we have strengthened or built great personal relationships as well.”
Magee served as the lead emergency management advisor/coordinator for DPS Regional Commander Jack Webster. Webster was the State Incident Commander for the initiative. Magee and RLO Jimmie Badgett worked directly with the two Disaster District Chairs – Captain Bryan Rippee and Captain Mike Lathan. The RLOs assisted them with resource requests and the coordination of information.
“We have worked with multiple local, state, and federal agencies to assist with answering their questions and addressing their concerns. We also worked with the Texas Forest Service to edit and update the State Support Plan for Super Bowl XLV,” Magee said.
A total of 12 TDEM RLOs were assigned to five Area Command Emergency Operations Centers in Arlington, Fort Worth/Tarrant County, Dallas/Dallas County, Irving and DFW Airport.
Planning began 18 months ago. Magee said people who worked on the plan envisioned using it as a template for future high profile sports events, such as the Olympics or the World Cup. She said it is “probably only a matter of time” before the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex wins a bid to host one of these prestigious events.
“Creating our plan and coordinating with all of these agencies will not only assist us with future large events around the state but will allow us to be more efficient and effective during every day emergency and disaster response,” Magee said. “Every person we meet and every relationship we build adds to our ability to call upon these folks during future events. Based on the feedback that we receive regularly, these relationships also enhance our reputation with multiple agencies.”