It’s a relatively quiet afternoon at the Super Bowl joint operations center located inside Atlanta’s police headquarters. But, quiet is good.
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“No credible threats,” said deputy chief Scott Kreher of Atlanta’s police department. “We have a very extensive intelligence group that’s manned by our federal, state and local partners also, and they’re constantly giving us updates on what we need to know.”
Kreher said around 70 different organizations — both private and public — are assisting in the security of the big game, including around 3,000-4,000 law enforcement professionals. Staff from various agencies sit side-by-side in long rows of office tables at the command center, surrounded by large screens around the room broadcasting information about the city.
“We have several thousand people coming in [to Atlanta] every day to enjoy not just the NFL events, but you know, the city is open also,” he said. “So we want to make sure everyone is safe when they come down and that takes a lot of communication and a lot of planning.”
Kreher said his agency started really digging into its current public safety plan about a year ago. Now, the center is open 24/7 with staff working in 12-hour shifts, with only one day off over a 10-day period. In a connecting room to the command center, there are burners keeping communal meals warm.
But despite the tough hours, Kreher said he’s looking forward to the main event.
“It’s an exciting time for our city,” he said. “I really want everyone to come and enjoy and have a good time.”
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