New Orleans Prepares Security Effort For College Football National Championship Game
Local authorities say they’ve been planning the security operation for two years, and are ready to ensure safety at the game between Clemson and LSU.
- By Haley Samsel
- January 13, 2020
Ahead of the College Football National Championship game, set to begin at 7 p.m. local time tonight, law enforcement officials and city leaders have worked to ensure safety for the tens of thousands of spectators expected to watch the big game in the New Orleans Superdome.
Police believe that the crowds for the game between Louisiana State University and Clemson University could reach Super Bowl and Mardi Gras levels, The Lafayette Daily Advertiser reported.
Collin Arnold, the director of New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said his department observed security practices at the national championship games in Atlanta and Santa Clara, California over the past two years. Arnold said the process, carried out by every city that hosts the championship, was “very beneficial.”
"What we found is that New Orleans kind of leads the way in these special events,” Arnold told the Advertiser.
Several law enforcement agencies, including New Orleans police, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office and state police, will be on hand to ensure security at the event. More state troopers will be in the city for an extended period before and after the game, the Advertised reported.
Areas that are popular for tourists, including the city’s downtown area, the French Quarter neighborhood and areas set up for fans, will have larger contingencies of law enforcement officers. Heavy traffic around the city is expected, and security officers are encouraging visitors to walk as much as possible to avoid accidents.
In addition, President Trump is planning to travel to New Orleans to watch the game, adding an extra level of intensity to the security operation. The Secret Service and FBI are partnering with local authorities to add extra security and ensure the safe travels of the president.
“That obviously can make traffic a little more congested because of the movement of that VIP," Arnold said. "The other side of that is there’s a lot of federal coordination and assets that are available now because of that visit."
While some visitors may be alarmed by the amount of officers in a certain area on the day of the game, it does not necessarily mean that there is a threat, Louisiana State Police Trooper First Class Dillon Monroe told the Advertiser.
“It's for response time and for safety," Monroe said. "It may not be for a specific threat, but so everyone can enjoy themselves and have a good time."
Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.