Covering Louisiana

Jan 29, 2013 1:03 PM by Melissa Canone

GOHSEP to Support NOLA during Super Bowl, Encourages Citizens to Report Suspicious Activity

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will join federal, state and local public safety agencies to support the City of New Orleans as it plays host to the Super Bowl on February 3.

GOHSEP will activate its Crisis Action Team on January 30 to monitor public safety issues, coordinate assistance and resources being provided to the area, and respond to requests from the City of New Orleans and other affected local governments, should the need for additional state support arise. GOHSEP and its partner agencies stand ready to assist the City of New Orleans should an emergency occur.

GOHSEP will deploy its Mobile Command Unit to New Orleans to serve as a command post and provide communications support. GOHSEP will also provide a cache of 100 radios to be used on designated local channels.

GOHSEP's Crisis Action Team will have representatives operating out of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Emergency Operations Center beginning on January 30 and running until February 4, or as long as is needed. GOHSEP has also been designated as the State Coordinating Agency in the event of a large-scale emergency related to the event. GOHSEP will also provide public information support to local public safety agencies.

GOHSEP has worked with local, state and federal partners since last Spring to coordinate and develop the State's Super Bowl plan, including hosting and participating in a series of tabletop exercises to support planning for the event. Specifically, GOHSEP sponsored a series of communication exercises to assist the City of New Orleans as it developed its tactical communications plan.

GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis said, "We expect more than a million people to be in and around downtown New Orleans over the days surrounding the Super Bowl. After months of preparation, planning and practice, we know the City is ready to host this large gathering. While the world is fixated on the football game, we will join our federal, state and local partners in focusing on keeping the public safe."

Davis added, "We encourage the public to join our team in keeping the City safe for its residents and visitors by reporting any suspicious activities to the proper authorities. These types of activities could include people leaving unattended baggage or packages in the airport or at a public gathering or someone attempting to break into a restricted area. While you are visiting New Orleans, if you see something suspicious, say something. The public is a critical part of the public safety game plan for the Super Bowl."

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, "GOHSEP and the Louisiana State Police have been excellent partners as we prepare for Super Bowl and Mardi Gras."

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING

GOHSEP and its public safety partners, including Louisiana State Police, support the "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign with the federal Department of Homeland Security.

During the Super Bowl and running through the end of the Mardi Gras season, residents of and visitors to the City of New Orleans and the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will see public service announcements encouraging them to report suspicious activities to 800-434-8007, which will connect them to the Louisiana State Analytical and Fusion Exchange or LA-SAFE. For more information about LA-SAFE, visit http://la-safe.org.

Anyone can report suspicious activities to LA-SAFE, which will be coordinating with security officials on the ground in New Orleans to ensure public safety. If someone is in immediate danger, they should call 911.

Originally implemented by New York City's Metropolitan Transportation following September 11, the nationwide "If You See Something, Say Something" public awareness campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper local law enforcement authorities.

The Public Service Announcements are fully federally funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Emergency. For more information about the campaign, visit http://www.dhs.gov/if-you-see-something-say-something.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is charged with leading and supporting Louisiana and its Citizens in the preparation for, response to and recovery from all emergencies and disasters. For more information, visit http://gohsep.la.gov or follow the agency on Twitter as @GOHSEP and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gohsep.

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