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Law Enforcement Ramping Up Security for College Football National Championship

Stephanie Colombini/WUSF

Law enforcement is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to security at the 2017 College Football National Championship, according to Marc Hamlin, Assistant Chief with the Tampa Police Department.

He and other officials recently gathered at Raymond James Stadium, host of the January 9 game, to talk about safety and security for the event.

Credit Stephanie Colombini/WUSF
State and local law enforcement officials talk security for the National Championship at Raymond James Stadium.

The championship won't be Tampa's first rodeo with high security events. The city hosted the Republican National Convention and four Super Bowls, not to mention the annual Gasparilla parade. But Special Agent Tom Foy with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement says recent events like the apparent terror attack in Berlin have authorities stepping up their game more than ever.

“Tragically this is happening all too often,” Foy said. “We build on it, law enforcement learns from each event. We talk to each other locally, we talk to each other from state to state and internationally. We're always looking for a nexus to Florida.”

Tampa Police Assistant Chief Marc Hamlin says while there are no credible threats to the area as of yet, the public needs to be vigilant.

“So we really want to get that message across to see something and say something, so we can actually do something about it,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin says the public can expect to see enhanced security at Raymond James Stadium, as well as at other game-related events around the city.

“You'll have magnetometers and wanding, and bag checks upon entry,” Hamlin said.

As well as things you might not notice, like police snipers and undercover cops.

Stay tuned on wusfnews.org for more updates as we get closer to the game.

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.
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