Dallas police outline Super Bowl security plans

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 8:25 PM

DLALAS — Dallas police briefed the City Council’s public safety committee Tuesday about their Super Bowl security plans.

They say their number-one concern is the influx of people, with 250,000 expected during Super Bowl XLV weekend in the downtown area.

"I believe our biggest challenge is going to be traffic," said Assistant Chief Tom Lawrence.

During NBA All-Star weekend last February, Dallas police shut down streets in the downtown area, forcing drivers onto freeways that were jammed for hours.

Police said they learned from that experience.

"Our biggest concern is, we leave streets open so that we can move traffic if we were to have an emergency," Chief Lawrence said.

There are nearly 300 events planned in Dallas on the weekend leading up to the game on Sunday, February 6. That includes the NFL Experience at the Convention Center.

More than 3,000 members of the media are headed to the city, along with the NFL's commissioners and owners.

Dallas police Chief David Brown said the department must keep its security plan fluid. "It's the first Super Bowl for the region, so of course we are still learning," he said.

Dallas police are setting up five command centers around Dallas, and they have been working with special units like SWAT and Operation Disruption preparing in case of a terror attack.

"We had actors out in the field simulating injuries and attacks," Chief Lawrence said.

Dallas police say they don't want to disrupt normal operations, so most patrol officers will continue their neighborhood beats on Super Bowl weekend.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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