January 30, 2013
National Guardsmen patrol the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans in 2002. It’s an unprecedented security challenge for New Orleans: the city’s increasingly raucous buildup to Mardi Gras gets suspended for a week as 150,000 visitors flood the town for Super Bowl. Joining the police department’s 1,200-plus officers for Super Bowl week are more than 200 state troopers and about 100 officers from surrounding local jurisdictions.
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A New Orleans police force famed for its crowd control prowess is getting help from state and federal authorities as the city hosts an estimated 150,000 Super Bowl fans while preparing for the raucous buildup to Mardi Gras, which also draws thousands to the historic French Quarter and its restaurants, bars and strip clubs.