While the world's attention was on the spectacle that was Super Bowl XLIII, dozens of TSA officers, inspectors, BDOs and others looked outward at the stadium and local airports and other transportation facilities to make sure those attending the festivities and the millions watching on TV could do so without incident.
In the first ever deployment of behavior detection officers to a super bowl, BDOs worked alongside Tampa Police at the area around Raymond James Stadium Sunday in a strategic partnership to keep fans safe. BDOs were specifically requested by local and federal law enforcement agencies to augment their efforts to identify individuals exhibiting suspicious behavior.
The officers were briefed by the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the TSA's assistant federal security director for law enforcement in Tampa before being bussed to the stadium to add an additional layer of security. In this spirit of partnership, TSA BDO trainers in January held four-hour behavior detection training sessions for about 100 Tampa-area police.
Simultaneously Visible Intermodal Protection and Response teams (VIPRs) were actively patrolling eight general aviation airports and three commercial airports: Tampa International, Sarasota-Bradenton International and St. Petersburg-Clearwater airports.
The VIPR teams included Federal Air Marshals (FAMs), transportation security inspectors (TSIs), Customs and Border Protection agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, and local police.
To help screen an expected 10,000 additional passengers departing Monday from Tampa International Airport, 50 TSOs were bussed from Orlando International Airport. Security operations at Tampa were also supported by bomb appraisal officers, TSIs, BDOs and FAMS from other airports around the country.
"We are anticipating the busiest day of the year," Federal Security Director Gary Milano said Monday. "As a result, we will have every lane in every checkpoint fully staffed and fully operational."
Remote screening sites were also set up on game day to screen the passengers arriving on private and charter flights.