Phoenix police, fire departments unveil plan for Super Bowl

Feb 3, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 5:27 am

PHOENIX — Over next week the Phoenix police and fire departments will be on high alert and ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice for Super Bowl events around downtown.

Phoenix Police Department Bomb Squad

The department will deploy officers and special units throughout downtown Phoenix for Super Bowl events and concerts. It will utilize several tools like robots and bomb-detecting K-9s.

“Edgar can help us detect if there were hidden explosives. He’s trained to detect all types of different explosives. It would then allow the bomb squad to come in and either mitigate that or determine what it was,” Sgt. Jason Janke of the bomb squad said.

Janke said officers and their K-9s will be deployed throughout the downtown area for Super Bowl-specific events. For the bomb squad, about 90 dogs and up to 110 techs will be on standby for the weekend.

Presence on public transportation

Lt. Mark Schweikert said the transit unit is tasked with overseeing public safety and security of public transportation in Phoenix.

“That’s over 4,000 bus stops, 250 busses in motion, and over 17 miles of light rail service in the city of Phoenix,” Schweikert said.

He explained the department has collaborated with federal and municipal partners to increase their safety presence and ramp up transportation services.

“You’re going to see more buses to get you where you want to go. You’re going to see more transit trains out there getting people back and forth between various special events in the city of Phoenix,” Schweikert said.

He explained this has been a yearlong process of planning for the big game and ensuring people feel safe.

“It didn’t start yesterday. It’s not going to start the week of the Super Bowl. It started over a year ago. Putting a plan in place to make sure people feel safe taking the bus or light rail,” Schweikert said.

Officers will utilize explosive detection K-9s from across the country to provide around-the-clock coverage.

Use of drones

Phoenix Police will utilize drones for event management after receiving approval in 2022. The department is anticipating a surge in pedestrian and vehicle traffic over Super Bowl weekend.

“The use of this type of technology from an aerial optic gives us the ability to be able to see in real-time from an incident management center… to see what the crowd migrations are, what the traffic migration patterns look like,” Cmmdr. Brian Lee said.

He added it helps the department make more informed decisions on how and when to deploy officers. The department currently has 12 drones.

“Now, with the use of drones, we have the ability to remain on-site for longer periods of time. We have the ability to get information much more rapidly,” Lee said.

“If we have traffic that’s snarled up at a location, we can actually direct resources over there in real time to go fix that without having to wait for someone to call that information in.”

Phoenix Fire Department medic cart

Over the jam-packed weekend and the week leading up to it, Phoenix Fire will deploy its medic carts throughout downtown. The department will utilize the carts because they are more mobile than fire trucks and are equipped to assist in emergencies.

“You’re going to have four highly trained firefighters, two of them will be paramedics, and we feel that we can handle any medical emergency thrown at us in a moment’s notice,” Capt. Rob McDade said.

McDade added that the carts can hold up to 100 gallons of water to assist in putting out fires.

“Fires start in trash cans up against buildings, and they extend into the buildings. We believe with this 100 gallons of water, quickly dispatched to the area, we’re going to knock that fire down until the fire truck gets there,” McDade said.

The carts are equipped to handle medical emergencies as well.

“We look at this cart team responding to anything from an elderly patient that trips falling into a venue that just needs to be evaluated to the worst case scenario,” McDade said.

There will be up to five cart teams in operation at any time.

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Phoenix police, fire departments unveil plan for Super Bowl