Super Bowl security team unveiled in Tampa

12/10/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

The Super Bowl will take place in Tampa in 52 days. Today local and federal law enforcement officials spoke to reporters about the security steps underway now and those that will commence leading up to the big game.

Steve Ibisen is the FBI special agent in charge of security at the Super Bowl. He said the FBI’s role is to prepare to meet any threat, including a possible terrorist attack. His agency will operate a join operations center for all law enforcement.

Susan McCormick is with ICE – Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She said her agency is committed to not having the game compromised by any threats. She said any undocumented immigrants working as vendors around Raymond James Stadium or volunteering for a Super Bowl-related activity will have their immigration status inspected.

McCormick says so far ICE has screened close to 8,800 applications, and expects to look at another 30,000 or so before the game on Feb. 1.

She said those found to be undocumented or with any criminal backgrounds will not be allowed to work at the game or any game-related activities. She also said "appropriate actions will be taken."

WMNF later asked McCormick if that meant deportation orders would begin for those found out of status.

"No," she said. "We will take appropriate action. I'm not committing to what action that is. It's a case-by-case basis."

McCormick also said ICE will be targeting criminal organizations responsible for counterfeit products, such as tickets and memorabilia.

Scott McCampbell is with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He said his agency is in contact with the more than 500 gun dealers throughout Florida. He said he hopes gun dealers will come forward with any allegations of suspicious activity.

Milt Ahlerich is vice president of security for the NFL. He lauded the efforts being done right now and said the league tries to not be too heavy-handed with its security needs.

"We really try very hard not to have security overwhelm our fans," he said.

Neither Tampa officials nor the NFL would estimate how much the security is costing.

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