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Superb Owl Party

Superb Owl Party

The Super Bowl is right on the horizon, and I can’t think of many other events that draw quite so much attention, at least not in this country. Naturally that makes it a high-profile security event that will test some of the industry’s top technology and practices.

By chance I found myself in downtown Phoenix last weekend near the NFL Experience. Considering it was only a week away from the Super Bowl and a bustling Sunday night I’m surprised the area wasn’t busier. I’d like to say I was having appetizers and drinks at one of the fancier upscale locale,  but a group of us were in fact having ice cream for dinner, a last defiant rebel act of our late 30s (I would never have believed that it would be difficult to convince a six-year-old to hurry up and get ready for ice cream, but that happened).

Certainly, I noticed an increased police presence in the area as I passed through. It’s clear the city is taking safety seriously ahead of the pending game, and the Philadelphia Eagles had landed in town just that day. Of course, that same day blocks away from us thieves had made off with $100,000 of NFL production equipment. Oof, yeah, that’s certainly a black mark ahead of a major event, however, at least there have been several new security cameras installed on city buildings downtown to keep an eye out for trouble during the festivities.

Except, well, they already failed to prevent one incident. An anti-abortion activist managed to scale the 40-story Chase Bank building, tying up law enforcement and rescue teams for about an hour with the publicity stunt. While neither of these incidents occurred at the stadium site itself (that’s further west), it’s a notable lapse in security ahead of a major national event.

Currently there are hundreds of cameras in and around the stadium setup for the Super Bowl, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents will be using a fleet of helicopters to patrol the skies around the site, and they’ve promised diligence in cybersecurity as well, although the specifics of technology involved in those efforts is kept quiet. One way or another in a few days we’ll see just how secure over 60,000 fans will be during this event.

What ice cream did I get? A strawberry shake with a slice of cheesecake on top. Let me tell you,  It didn’t make climbing the stairs back to the car any easier.


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