The Minneapolis Police Department is training the 10,000-plus Super Bowl LII volunteers how to recognize and report suspicious activity during the game's festivities.
The public safety training started last week and is based on a program certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a news release says.
This training will include the below video featuring Boston Marathon bombing survivors Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes.
What are volunteers being told to look out for?
The policing effort for the Super Bowl will be gigantic, with the Southwest Journal reporting as many as 3,000 officers – including National Guard members – will be deployed throughout the Twin Cities metro during the 10-day festival.
The training video splits off security concerns into multiple categories, with volunteers told to look out for the following:
Surveillance: Suspects may watch people and security at certain locations, as well as entry/exit points, or timing buses and light rail trains. They also may take pictures of security personnel, alarm boxes, locks or restricted areas.
Information gathering: Suspects may ask questions "beyond the level of reasonable curiosity" regarding when crowds are at their largest, when shifts change, and how often patrols take place.
Acquiring supplies: Criminals may "steal credentials," impersonate maintenance workers, first responders, or event staff.
Test of security and deployment: Bags may be left deliberately in areas of the skyway or malls, and people may try to trespass into restricted areas or tamper with security features. Also keep an eye out for something concealed under a coat.
Drones: Drones are not allowed anywhere downtown during the Super Bowl, so if you see one, report it immediately.
Vehicles: Keep an eye out for "unusually weighed down" vehicles, any that emit a strange odor or smoke, if they're parked in an unauthorized area, or any you see circling the same area several times.
Online: Threats may be posted online, either threatening to carry out an attack, inciting others to commit acts or glorifying terrorists. Report these immediately to police.
'Check behavior, not ethnicity'
One point that the video stresses at the beginning is that volunteers should not racially profile people as they keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.
The past few years in America have shown that major terror attacks/mass murders have been carried out by people of a wide range of colors and ethnic backgrounds.
"It's important to remember that everything we talk about today refers to identifying the behavior a person is demonstrating, not their ethnicity or religious affiliation," Kensky says. "This protects our civil liberties and plays a vital role in safeguarding our communities."
How high is the security alert for the Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl is considered a Level One Special Event Assessment Rating by the Department of Homeland Security, the highest threat level to public safety there is.
As such, this qualifies the city for federal resources, with the Pioneer Press reporting security won't just include a massive police response, but also surveillance specialists, cybersquads, intelligence analysts and SWAT that will be deployed prior to the Feb. 4 game.
No specific threat against the Super Bowl have been become apparent as of this date