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Napolitano visits Super Bowl site

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla.--Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, was in South Florida on Monday and toured the Super Bowl facilities and the security operations in and around them.

"I'm here today to see the operation myself," Napolitano said at a news conference at the Super Bowl media center, adding that she also had meetings in the area on other topics.

Sunday's Super Bowl between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens was designated a special event by the Department of Homeland Security.

That was not unusual for the Super Bowl, but Napolitano's visit was.

"I don't think we've ever had that, where we've had a secretary of homeland security come on site," said Milt Ahlerich, the NFL's vice president of security.

Ahlerich said the NFL spent $6 million on security for the 10th Super Bowl to be held in Miami.

Security planning for the game has taken place for the last two years, Ahlerich said.

"This security plan is very robust," Ahlerich said. "It is very well coordinated at the municipal level, the state level and the federal level. There won't be any problems. We have a lot of confidence in that."

Officials said that fans entering the stadium Sunday will be subject to security screenings, including pat-downs and screenings by metal detectors. They advised fans to arrive at the stadium early and not to attempt to take anything larger than a small purse or bag into the stadium.

Temporary flight restrictions will be in effect Sunday.

Napolitano declined to provide a figure for the amount of money spent by the federal government on the Super Bowl security effort but said the security measures will include inspections at local airports and ports.

"We are looking forward to a great and safe Super Bowl," Napolitano said. "We are doing everything we can think of."

By Mark Maske  |  February 1, 2010; 5:23 PM ET  | Category:  Super Bowl Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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