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How Tampa PD won the Super Bowl with public safety solutions

  • Challenge

  • The City of Tampa was set to host Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 7, 2021.

    When the Buccaneers entered the picture as NFC Champions two weeks before the game, the championship turned into a home game for the city. The Tampa Police faced an unprecedented challenge in ensuring public safety solutions.

    Adequate security measures required 70 different agencies from federal, state and local departments that all needed the ability to communicate with each other and the NFL.

    Tampa PD and their counterparts had to compete with each other and with hundreds of thousands of fans for network bandwidth—without interfering with the game and while ensuring everyone’s safety. Tampa PD needed their devices to work reliably over the network alongside radio systems, cameras, phones and other devices.

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    • We had over 70 different agencies involved in the security aspect of it. So you’re trying to get federal, state and local agencies all on the same page ... You have TV network cameras everywhere, you have the NFL security part of it, you have internal stadium surveillance. You have the fans. And everybody is competing for that system, that communications part of it.
    • Brian Dugan
      Tampa Police Chief

    • Solution

      Verizon installed over $80 million in infrastructure upgrades of 4G LTE and 5G, including 70 miles of highspeed fiber and 600 small cell nodes. Verizon’s public safety network, which promotes real interoperability, enables seamless collaboration between networks, platforms, apps, media and devices.

      The 5G network is critical to leverage the best quality of service (QoS), and interoperability ensures the ability to communicate between multiple agencies and departments, regardless of the network used. 5G provides first responders with fast access to the critical information they need to do their jobs effectively.

      Upgrades to the city’s public safety solutions expanded the city’s 4G LTE network and 5G Ultra Wideband coverage in many of the key public spaces in the Tampa area, including in and around Raymond James Stadium, Tampa International Airport and Sparkman Wharf, ensuring reliable, ongoing connectivity for civilians and public safety officials.

      Verizon consulted with Tampa PD to ensure 5G public safety solutions were in place. Together, the two teams were able to troubleshoot potential problems in advance and test all systems beforehand to help ensure police communication and avoid any crises.

    • Outcome

      Sometimes, no news is good news.

      Despite the unprecedented volume of traffic on the communications system caused by a flood of software, networks, devices and users, the event was a security and safety success.

      Tampa PD was able to maintain critical contact between officers and partner agencies. And citizens, spectators, fans and Tampa citizens gained access to fast and reliable connectivity.

      Much of the work done to ensure better connections for football fans on Super Bowl weekend has resulted in permanent upgrades and 5G public safety solutions that will benefit the City of Tampa and visitors to the area for years to come.

      And at the end of the day, the Buccaneers were Super Bowl Champions and Tampa PD got to be safety champs.

    • We’ve had a long partnership with Verizon. We, as a police department, rely on the stability of their network. You can have the latest device out there, but if it doesn’t work, what good is it?
    • Brian Dugan
      Tampa Police Chief

    • How we built the solution

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    * Based on 9.15.2019 U.S. Census population data.