SportsTampa Bay’s Big Game


Super Bowl safety is top priority for Tampa law enforcement agencies

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 23:18:27-05

MIAMI, Fla. — There is a huge security presence in Miami for Super Bowl week, and you’ll see the same in Tampa a year from now.

Hillsbourgh County Sheriff Chad Chronister says a lot has changed from the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl in 2009.

“From different barriers for cars, you’ve seen some local homegrown terrorists decide to use cars and kill individuals that way. And bring fear to all of us,” said Chronister.

One of the biggest areas of focus is human trafficking. Officials say the Super Bowl is the single largest event for sex trafficking with thousands of victims.

“Ten years ago we weren’t having that discussion and now we are," said Chronister.

Tampa’s FBI office is here, too.

The Super Bowl has long been considered a potential target for terrorists. And there are added concerns because of American’s recent conflict with Iran.

“They should be worried. I should worry about it. That’s my job to worry about it. Counter-terrorism is our number one priority. So that’s what we want to prepare for," said Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson from Tampa's FBI office.

“As a sheriff where the Super Bowl is. You want to make sure everything goes right. And you try and plan for everything but I gotta tell you it’s more excitement than anything," said Chronister.