FBI to Keep Close Watch on Bay Area During Super Bowl 50 - NBC Bay Area

FBI to Keep Close Watch on Bay Area During Super Bowl 50

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Add the FBI to the list of law enforcement agencies keeping a close watch on the Bay Area for the upcoming Super Bowl and related festivities planned throughout the region. Kim Yonenaka reports. (Published Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016)

    Add the FBI to the list of law enforcement agencies keeping a close watch on the Bay Area for the upcoming Super Bowl and related festivities planned throughout the region.

    The FBI's Joint Operation Center, or JOC, is scheduled to go live on Friday. The center will be home base for 60 people from state, local and federal agencies, who will sit side-by-side and watch over everything that happens in the Bay Area.

    "Local, state and federal law enforcement will be sharing information in real time, so we're all on the same page," FBI Special Agent John Light said. "And that's critical to understanding what the situation is throughout the Bay Area, and then responding appropriately."

    Geographically, the scope of Super Bowl 50 is challenging to secure: The big game will be played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, while week-long festivities leading up to the even will be held in San Francisco.

    In some cases, venues are spread 50 miles apart.

    The FBI said its JOC is critical in terms of communicating to all of the different agencies involved. The center will also have air support and an extensive bomb squad readily available.

    On Thursday, agents demonstrated how their inspection robots approach a suspicious bag and showed one of the actual robots they would use in a chemical threat or to dismantle a bomb. The FBI said it has prepared for every scenario, even though there currently no known terrorist threats to the big event.

    The agency encourages the public to speak up if they see of know of anything suspicious.

    "We need the public's help," Light said. "We don't know what people are thinking. We don't read minds. We don't know what the plots are that exist only in the minds of a lone offender."

    The FBI said it is not responding to any protests during the Super Bowl. Federal agents will only get involved if a protest spirals into a criminal act, according to the FBI.

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