NEW ORLEANS (AP) – It’s an unprecedented security challenge for New Orleans: The increasingly raucous buildup to Mardi Gras gets suspended for a week as 150,000 visitors pack the city for the Super Bowl.
The two events bring all the usual worries, from petty crime and public drunkenness to random gunfire and – in the case of the big game – heightened vigilance for terrorism.
Joining the police department’s 1,200-plus officers for Super Bowl week are more than 200 state troopers and about 100 officers from surrounding local jurisdictions. Also, with the Super Bowl considered a potential terrorist target, there is a beefed-up federal contingent. FBI agent Michael Anderson says that includes close to 100 extra FBI personnel supplementing the regular New Orleans FBI staff of 200 agents and support staff.