Keeping us safe: Head of Super Bowl security reflects on monumental task

It’s a monumental task, protecting the lives of millions of people during the Super Bowl, but Michael Rozin was prepared for it.

A former security expert from Israel who has operated his own firm here in the Cities for more than 10 years, Rozin knows the terrain and worked with authorities to make sure the event went off without a hitch--an undertaking that may have aged him several years, he jokes.

The Mall of America on a normal week is one of Rozin's biggest clients, though the giant shopping center alone welcomed more than a million visitors during the Super Bowl.

Downtown was no different, with people and events everywhere. Inevitably, he said, so were his security teams.

“We deployed layers and layers, in essence, from whatever the approach of the venue," he said. "Whether it was from the skyway or through the street, you’re going through layers of highly trained eyes who are able to evaluate almost every single person and categorize them as a potential risk or not a risk."

He was approached by the host committee over a year ago to implement his proactive security methods specializing in behavior threat detection principles.

“It’s a comprehensive training, it takes a special skill-set," he said. "Not everyone passes. The idea behind this training is to enable security and law enforcement professionals to categorize individuals based on a normal, expected baseline in any environment."

Nearly 300 undercover security personnel were based on Nicollet Mall alone. Rozin also had a comprehensive partnership with local, state and federal agencies to ensure all went smoothly.

“It was quite an enormous task to make sure that everyone is on the same page, that everyone is uniformed, sharing the same communications protocols with the same security processes in place," he said. "That by itself was quite an under-taking.”

Rozin said Nicollet Mall festivities were the first time a Super Bowl event had open access to the public with multiple entry points.

The game itself was all under federal law enforcement protection.