MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Super Bowl is now less than three weeks away and already the City of Minneapolis and the Super Bowl Host Committee are focusing on security.
Training started Thursday for the scores of Super Bowl volunteers that will help pull off the big game. Day one for volunteers came with perks: a gift box of Super Bowl clothing. But it also came with a heavy dose of security training.
“There’s going to be cops from Ely down to Rochester, you’re going to see hundreds of cops,” said Minneapolis Police Officer Mike Kirchen.
All of the officers will need help from the 10,375 volunteers working at the Super Bowl festivities.
“We’re really training them on how to identify suspicious behavior,” said Jordan Clark with the Counterterrorism Education Lab. “So this could be with volunteers stationed along Nicollet Mall. Are people asking them weird questions that don’t really pertain the to the guest experience: How many security personnel to you have here? Where are the security barriers located?”
Anything they see, they’re supposed to report to police. Officers from 90 agencies will join Minneapolis officers and the National Guard, which raised serious questions at City Hall.
“What should we be preparing people for in terms - are we going to be seeing people walking around in fatigues?” asked Minneapolis City Councilman Steve Fletcher.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo says no.
“It will not be a military occupation,” he said.
He later emphasized guard members will play a vital role, but not a visible role.
“These soldiers will be in a non-law enforcement capacity,” said Arradondo. “Most of the folks will probably not see them, they will be at very contained stationary posts. They will not be marching around Hennepin or First Avenue or Nicollet Mall for that matter.”