San Francisco agencies prepared for million Super Bowl visitors

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ByVic Lee KGO logo
Thursday, January 28, 2016
San Francisco agencies prepared for million Super Bowl visitors
San Francisco police and emergency responders say they're ready for the expected million or so people to visit Super Bowl events.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Streets are closed and the signs are up. San Francisco is expecting up to a million visitors during Super Bowl week, most from the Bay Area, and that can be a security nightmare. Police gave us some insight into their plans to keep everyone safe.

The entire Bay Area is on heightened alert for Super Bowl 50. The old adage still rings true - police say the best way to stay safe is to stay alert, be aware of your surroundings, and tell police if you see anything suspicious.

WATCH VIDEO: Bay Area first responders hold emergency drill in San Francisco Bay

On Wednesday, San Francisco's police and fire chiefs briefed reporters on the emergency and security measures in place for the upcoming Super Bowl festivities. Obviously, there will be a lot of cops on the streets, both in uniform and some that you won't even notice.

All time off for bomb sniffing dogs has been cancelled and so has time off for officers. First responders have been training for emergencies in the waters of the bay and the city's emergency operating center will be activated this Saturday.

The security screening devices are set to be placed at entrances to Super Bowl City. Although bags up to 18x18 inches will be permitted, they'll also be checked for explosives and contraband.

"Everybody is going to have to pass through a magnetometer to get in and the bags will be gone through, much like when you enter a stadium," San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr.

RELATED: Super Bowl 50 Bay Area events schedule

Mingling with the huge crowds will be lots of plainclothes cops. It's good insurance against lone wolf attackers. Still, the best line of defense is you and me.

"There is no substitute for a million people coming to San Francisco and if they see something, say something," Suhr said.

RELATED: Super Bowl 50 traffic and transit resources

And the city's transportation agency is also providing eyes and ears on the ground.

"We will have lots of folks out on the streets. About 70 traffic control officers, up to 40 other ambassadors," San Francisco transportation director Ed Reiskin said.

In the past, the fire department struggled with a lack of ambulances and slow response times, but Chief Joanne Hayes-White says that's changed. Notably, she now has per diem EMTs and paramedics.

"So we had about 30 go through the training in August and we have another 20 or so hitting the streets on Friday. So that's sort of a fallback, if you will, to fill in," Hayes-White said.

City officials have been planning for the Super Bowl for three years; now is the time to implement what they've learned.

Click here for full coverage of Super Bowl 50, and click here to download the ABC7/Waze app to help navigate around the Super Bowl City construction.

READ MORE: Report slams SFFD ambulances for persistent slow response times

PHOTOS: Super Bowl 50 preps underway around the Bay Area