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Updated Jan 30, 2014 - 9:43 am

Glendale sends crew to New York to observe Super Bowl security

PHOENIX -- Seven public-safety employees from Glendale have made their way to New York for the Super Bowl, but it's not to watch the game.

Instead, they'll be watching how New York City handles security for the event. The trip is part of Glendale's preparation for hosting the 2015 game.

"They will be meeting with their counterparts and visiting the emergency operations centers and the joint operations centers," said Glendale Police Sgt. Jay O'Neil. "They'll be talking about logistics and event locations. On game day, they'll be attending some of the pre-game briefings and operations, that kind of thing."

The group, which included four officers, arrived Wednesday, and as soon as they got there, one of them posted on Twitter about the weather.

"She arrived in New Jersey and it was 21 degrees, so a little bit different than our climate, but I'm sure she's prepared," O'Neil said.

The group is there to watch and learn.

"They need to gain firsthand knowledge, information and experience about any new security protocols or best practices that have come about," O'Neil said.

He said that situations have changed since Glendale hosted the Super Bowl in 2008.

"We've had the Boston Marathon bombings since then," said O'Neil. "There are always changes to public safety and these events, and we need to make sure that we stay on top of those changes."

The officers will take what they learn in New York and incorporate it into the security planning for next year's game in Glendale. Earlier this month, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said the city was sending a similar team to New York this week.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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