New York City police will deploy groups of officers with heavy weapons, patrol boats and canine teams as fans gather in the week leading to the 2014 Super Bowl.
Dozens of pregame events will take place in the city related to the Feb. 2 National Football League championship game across the Hudson River at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
A highlight will be Super Bowl Boulevard, a collection of attractions that will close a 14-block stretch of Broadway in midtown Manhattan from Jan. 26 to Feb. 1.
The New York City Police Department is employing security measures similar to those of other large public events, including Hercules teams of heavily armed officers whose job is deterring terrorists and preventing them from conducting reconnaissance, said John O'Connell, an inspector with the department's counterterrorism bureau.
The NYPD also will use radiation detectors, patrol boats, canine teams and "heavily visible" foot patrols, and will monitor closed-circuit TV cameras along Super Bowl Boulevard, O'Connell said at a conference yesterday at police headquarters for members of the department's Shield partnership with private security.
"As always the NYPD is taking a multilayered approach to protect the public at these events," O'Connell said. "Many of the technologies and procedures that we will be employing throughout this period are already being used throughout the city on a daily basis."
O'Connell, responding to a question, said he couldn't say yet whether pedestrians will be restricted from carrying backpacks and other bags into Super Bowl events as they are on New Year's Eve.
"We haven't really expressed our whole security posture yet," he said. "We're not prepared to answer that right now."
The game is projected to bring 400,000 visitors to the New York City region. Seventy percent of the 80,000 game attendees are expected to arrive by train or bus, and more will be visiting for events such as the four-day Super Bowl Boulevard celebration in Manhattan, according to Al Kelly, head of the NFL's host committee.
New York and New Jersey are both trying to get a bite of the $550 million predicted to flow into the economy through game-related activity. They also both are taking steps to ease transportation to and from the game and minimize complaints from visitors.
The New York Giants and New York Jets both play at MetLife Stadium, an 82,500-seat, open-air arena in New Jersey's Meadowlands. The $1.6 billion stadium, which replaced the 34- year-old venue across the street, opened in 2010.
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