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Homeland security, local police heighten security for Super Bowl

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An old concept is giving Super Bowl XLIX a new security twist.

If You See Something, Say Something was originally coined in 2001 as a response to Sept. 11 attacks. The message: Law enforcement cannot be everywhere and it relies on citizens to report anything they see out of the ordinary.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the renewed commitment to the campaign to ensure the safety of the public during Super Bowl week.

“The words are exactly the same, the words should resonate as familiar,” Johnson said at a press conference also attended by FBI, NFL security and local law enforcement. “You re-present something, you cause people to look at it again, think about it again, pay attention to it again and in these times we think that it is particularly important that the public do that and we have public support, awareness and engagement in our overall effort.”

The application got a reboot this time around. It includes advertisements for it on the NFL Game Day and NFL Experience mobile apps, renewed promotion throughout Arizona’s two major airports in Phoenix and Tucson and the graphic will appear on the big screen during Super Bowl XLIX and in official game programs.

Johnson said Department of Homeland Security is not aware of any credible threats directed at the game.

Because of the magnitude of the Super Bowl, security is ramped up to new levels. Acting Phoenix Chief of Police Joseph Yahner said all of Phoenix’s nearly 3,000 police officers are on duty during the 10-day period around the game.

Yahner said. “We are maximizing our employees’ resources and putting them in the right spot so the community will be safe,’’ said Yahner.

Yahner stressed police will not be less inclined to answer calls in other aspects of the city. Glendale Chief of Police Debora Black said the same goes for her city.

Glendale’s officers went through what she called a “dress rehearsal” in preparation for Sunday’s game.

“While the world is focused on the Valley this week, we have been focused on this week for over a year,” Black said. “We’re the team that’s going to make sure the Super Bowl goes off and the only excitement we see is on the field.”