Law enforcement and emergency responders team up to ensure public safety for College Football Playoff National Championship
Contact: Carlos Campos
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 4, 2018
ATLANTA — The City of Atlanta has collaborated closely with local, state and federal law enforcement and first responder partners for months leading up to the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 8, working to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for the more than 100,000 attendees expected in town for the game and full slate of fan events at various venues throughout the city.
“The City of Atlanta has excelled at hosting major events throughout the years and we look forward to making sure the CFP National Championship is remembered as yet another rousing success,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms. “I’m confident in the leadership of our police and fire chiefs and grateful for the assistance of their fellow first responders on the local, state and national levels. Our ability to collaborate with our partners is critical to our success.”
The coordinated effort, led by the Atlanta Police Department and Atlanta Fire Rescue Department in partnership with the Atlanta Football Host Committee and the College Football Playoff, was designed to create a multi-layered security and emergency preparedness plan.
“The environment we’re operating in today requires an extraordinary amount of planning, coordination and teamwork to secure a high-profile event like the CFP National Championship,” said Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. “The City of Atlanta does a great job hosting big events, but we could not do it without the cooperation and collaboration of our partners at every level. Our greatest hope is that football fans from all over the nation and the region are able to come and enjoy the game, while knowing first responders are on the job and ready to react, if necessary.”
The plan includes key roles for a number of local, state and federal agencies, including the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, MARTA, the Georgia State Patrol, the Atlanta/Fulton County Emergency Management Agency, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority and others.
“Atlanta’s hosting of the 2018 CFP National Championship presents the City with another opportunity to show the nation that we are a safe and prepared city no matter how big or small the event,” said Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Chief Joel G. Baker. “This could only take place with a concerted effort from the Atlanta Police Department and participation of numerous local, state, and national public safety agencies."
The City of Atlanta will open a Joint Operations Center during the weekend and through Monday’s game to monitor events, gather intelligence and coordinate any necessary emergency response, using the National Incident Management System structure. Officers from a number of law enforcement agencies will also be highly visible throughout the events. Undercover officers will also be deployed.
“The FBI has an important role in providing and assessing intelligence regarding any possible threats during this premier event,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office. “Our success in securing the safety of event-goers is heavily dependent on a cooperative effort between us, our law enforcement partners, and the public. Situational awareness is so important and if members of the public see something suspicious indicating a threat of any kind we urge them to report it immediately to law enforcement authorities.”
Atlanta Police also offer the following tips for anyone attending the game or related events, or planning to be in the downtown area for any reason during the weekend leading up to the game.
- Be mindful of your surroundings at all times. Call 9-1-1 or notify an officer immediately if you see any suspicious activity.
- Be aware there will be traffic congestion in the area around Mercedes-Benz Stadium and take MARTA to the game or any related events when possible.
- If you drive, do not leave anything of value in your car. Even loose change can be an attractive target for some thieves.
- Be sure to park legally if you must drive. Illegally parked cars are subject to towing.
- A clear bag policy will be in effect for all venues. Avoid bringing backpacks, large purses or coolers with you.
- Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, will be prohibited over venues. Violators may be subject to federal prosecution.
Additionally, Atlanta Police will be providing timely updates on public safety-related issues via social media. Please follow us on Twitter, @Atlanta_Police, or visit us on Facebook, facebook.com/AtlantaPolice. Also, follow Atlanta Fire Rescue Department on Twitter, @ATLFireRescue.
For other helpful tips and a guide to the CFP National Championship and events, please visit http://www.atlchampgame.com/know-before-you-go/.
“We couldn’t be more appreciative of the time and effort local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and emergency responders have dedicated to ensure a comprehensive plan is in place throughout championship weekend,” said Carl Adkins, executive director of Atlanta Football Host Committee. “A large part of Atlanta’s success as a destination for major sporting events can be attributed to the collaborative effort among these respected agencies throughout the duration of the planning process.”
Our mission is to create a safer Atlanta by reducing crime, ensuring the safety of our citizens and building trust in partnership with our communities.
www.atlantapd.org ~ twitter @Atlanta_Police ~ facebook.com/AtlantaPolice ~ youtube.com/AtlantaPoliceDpt