A first-ever multi-agency operation is being conducted in the Port of New Orleans Maritime Security Operations Center, one of the five new maritime security interagency operations centers located on the lower Mississippi River.
The occasion? Super Bowl XLVII, of course.
To be held Feb. 3, the game at the Superdome is expected to draw 150,000 fans to New Orleans, starting now. Meanwhile, Mardi Gras festivities and parades, which pose security challenges on their own, get suspended for Super Bowl week, but will resume on Feb. 6, adding another build-up to security issues.
Response boats, patrol vehicles and personnel started conducting security operations at the Port of New Orleans on Jan. 28, according to news reports.
On terra firma, more than 1,200 New Orleans Police officers will start working 12-hour shifts Wednesday night. Another 370 officers and sheriff's deputies from outside the city and more than 200 Louisiana State Troopers will be part of the detail as well, according to a report from WWL-TV.
"Basically, you're going to see 400-plus police officers every hour of the day in the downtown core, in the French Quarter, on Frenchman Street," NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas told WWL-TV.
Security plans for the days leading up to the game and after have been underway for more than a year, officials said.
"We're going to be using the Mississippi Highway Patrol motorcycle units to move the VIPs, owners, some of the talent around, the teams, because traffic is going to be a challenge on game day and we just want to make sure we get people to where they're supposed to be," Ronnie Jones, spokesman for the Louisiana State Police, said in the report.
There will also be federal agents from the FBI, ATF, DEA and Homeland Security on duty during the big game.
I hope your favorite team wins!