Detroit Police Assure Security at Super Bowl XL

Despite police layoffs, chief says staffing will be adequate


Detroit's police chief assured reporters Tuesday that adequate security will be on hand for Super Bowl XL in February despite pending police layoffs.

"Yes, we are facing fiscal situations right now. It will not impact our ability to provide a high level of public safety," Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said during a media call-in conference sponsored by the Detroit Super Bowl XL Host Committee.

Noting that planning meetings have been under way for months with other agencies, she added, "We will have more than an adequate level of personnel to provide a high level of public safety."

Bully-Cummings noted that Super Bowl security is a coordinated effort involving dozens of local, state and federal agencies. Among those involved in the planning are the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard, Michigan State Police, even the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

She declined to release the number of Detroit police who would be assigned to Super Bowl events.

Bully-Cummings added that baseball's All-Star Game on July 12 doesn't place the same burden on the city's police as the Super Bowl. The contract with Major League Baseball calls for only one-quarter as many police officers as the National Football League's requirements for the Super Bowl.

With less than eight months to go before the Super Bowl is played at Ford Field, planners are deep into finalizing the details for handling an estimated 100,000 visitors and 3,000 media representatives who will visit Detroit for several days.

This morning, Detroit's City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on a proposed ordinance outlining what downtown businesses may do in terms of signs, advertising and outdoor facilities during Super Bowl week. The ordinance, developed by the NFL and the host committee, is designed in part to prevent so-called ambush advertising -- ads by companies that are not official Super Bowl sponsors.

In other news from the conference, Susan Sherer, executive director of the host committee, said a deal is near to hold the party for international media at the Art Gallery of Windsor. It's part of a plan to have Windsor host events tied to the Super Bowl.

The host committee is getting close to finalizing several other venues for major events.

Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis said during the call-in news conference that fans from as far away as Montreal plan to visit Windsor for the events.

"This is Canada's opportunity to be part of the Super Bowl experience," he said.

Frank Supovitz, NFL senior vice president for events, said Detroit's preparations are going well. "I think the city governments on both sides of the river, regional governments, have been very welcoming and warm," he said. "We're looking forward to keeping the ball rolling."