Fusion Center gives Dallas officers bird's eye views during Super Bowl

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 27 at 9:53 PM

DALLAS - Security is top of mind with just days to go to the Super Bowl XLV.

Thursday morning, a bomb scare led Dallas police to evacuate One Main Place in downtown. A suspicious package turned out to be a false alarm, but it served as an important practice drill.

New screens and equipment at the Dallas Fusion Center will make it easier for police to monitor any problems during the Super Bowl events. Officers can keep track of everything from social media to cameras on the streets.

"It will give us situational awareness if crowds are getting big, getting out of hand or if there's a fight and we need to apply additional resources," said Lt. Todd Thomasson, Dallas Police Department.

The center gives the department quick access to information. For example, during the bomb scare at One Main Place, the chiefs could see what was happening, what roads needed to be closed and how the crowds were reacting all from the center.

"We are monitoring all the radio traffic that way the chief level officers can keep a good sense of how this situation is progressing," Thomasson said.
 
Bomb-sniffing dogs hit on the suspicious package. The Dallas Fire-Rescue Bomb Squad went in to check it out. While they did that, workers at the Fusion Center were already doing their own investigating.

"We will start researching names associated with the stuff to see where it came from, call the shipping company and back track who it is supposed to be delivered to," Thomasson said.
 
From there, supervisors deploy patrol officers or special units to hot spots. The department will have the Fusion Center up and running 24-7 through the end of the Super Bowl.

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