Indianapolis plans super-sized security measures for Super Bowl

INDIANAPOLIS --

City officials are rolling out super-sized security measures for downtown Indianapolis ahead of Super Bowl 2012.

As the big game approaches, U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopters will hover around the Circle City’s skyline.

Federal officials said the chopper is equipped with several cameras that will be focused on and around Lucas Oil Stadium, RTV6's Rafael Sanchez reported.

Customs official David Murphy called the chopper a “serious” piece of equipment.

"I think it’s critical that we can provide that level of security and expertise from my officers,” Murphy said.

Special Agent Gary Hartwig, with Homeland Security Investigations, said officials will also use a special camera that works like an X-ray to scan the contents of large vehicles. Its main job is to inspect all vehicles that roll into Lucas Oil Stadium.

"The mobile processing vehicle, or MPV, is our command center during major enforcement operations,” Hartwig said.

The command center will also be used to monitor human trafficking and the sale of counterfeit products.

The USA Disaster Relief Corps will assist Homeland Security agents for the first time during the Super Bowl.

Craig Dieckman, an agent with the Chicago-based not-for-profit group, said they are equipped to help support police with power or communications in an emergency.

"We're a privately funded group, and the people that fund the organization care about the county and want to help serve people,” Dieckman said.

FBI officials said the public won’t likely notice the heavy security presence during the festivities and that football fans will be able to relax and have a good time.

“There is a lot going on behind the curtain that (people) won’t see,” FBI agent Robert Holley said.

FBI officials said they’re not only concerned with security, but the scams involving fake tickets and merchandise.

In 2010, counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise was a problem in Miami, officials said.

"It is a threat because 375,000 jobs are lost due to importation of counterfeit merchandise,” Hartwig said. “In regards to the Super Bowl, most counterfeit items include things that are licensable by the NFL, things like jerseys and hats.”

Hartwig said people arrested in Indianapolis on charges of selling counterfeit merchandise could spend time inside the Homeland Security command center before being transferred to the county jail.

“Offenders will face local and federal charges,” Hartwig said.

If convicted, offenders could face up to five years in federal prison.

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