Minneapolis Police Department Gearing Up for NCAA Final Four
Police across the state of Minnesota are joining together to oversee security for the NCAA Tournament's Final Four games.
- By Sydny Shepard
- Mar 28, 2019
March Madness is in full swing as college basketball teams battle it out in the NCAA Tournament to make it to the Final Four. Agencies in Minneapolis, including the Minneapolis Police Department, University of Minnesota Police Department and other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have teamed up to oversee security for the Final Four games from April 5 to April 8 and accompanying events.
Although the event is smaller and more concentrated than the Super Bowl that was recently hosted in the city, MPD is taking similar steps to ensure the safety of teams, fans and participants as the effort's lead agency.
Security measures will include additional surveillance cameras and patrols downtown. Law enforcement agencies will convene in the Multi Agency Command Center (MACC), a security command center hosted by MPD. This command center was also used during the Super Bowl security process.
"Anyone who has operational assets that are in the vicinity of the Final Four and the events, they're going to be sitting in the MACC so that we're all in touch with each other," UMPD Lt. Erik Swanson told the Minnesota Daily.
UMPD officers will also assist with security for teams using the University of Minnesota practice facilities, Swanson said. Although U.S. Bank Stadium will host most practices, Williams Arena, Maturi Pavilion and the Cunningham Basketball Performance Center are also available for teams to practice away from the media.
Minneapolis was chosen to host the final games of the college basketball tournament in November 2014 after a City presentation to the NCAA by the Minnesota Final Four Bid Committee. More than a year before the event, the NCAA coordinates with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to rehearse security measures.
"Over the years, we have implemented tighter security measures, such as the clear bag requirement for our games and fan events and increased law enforcement presence to help increase fan safety at the Final Four," said NCAA Managing Director for External Affairs Erik Christianson.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.