Glendale Emergency Operations Center helps coordinate security for Final Four

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Inside the Glendale Emergency Management Center. (Source: 3TV/CBS5 News) Inside the Glendale Emergency Management Center. (Source: 3TV/CBS5 News)
City of Glendale Emergency Management Center.  (Source: City of Glendale) City of Glendale Emergency Management Center. (Source: City of Glendale)

Inside the City of Glendale Emergency Operations Center, there are eyes on traffic patterns, parking and potential hazards all around town and the University of Phoenix Stadium.

“So we are not playing catch up in those situations,” said Glendale's Emergency Manager Mark Hubler.

Hubler goes on saying that when major events are going on, everyone from law enforcement to utility company employees gather here. 

“We have to be broad in our scope because we don't know what would happen," Hubler said.

[Special Section: NCAA Final Four in Phoenix]

Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps elaborated.

“But for example, with the Great Lawn and so much happening on the Great Lawn at University of Phoenix Stadium, there are propane tanks, for example, so what if we have a propane leak,” Phelps said.

Phelps says they have planned for the unexpected natural disasters and looked for clues about anything more sinister.

“But for example in one area that is monitoring social media and kind of chatter across the country. Here in the area we have a fusion center, and that is already set up listening and monitoring looking for keywords of maybe someone intending to do something harmful,” Phelps said.

[RELATED: Valley law enforcement gears up for Final Four security]

The FBI says there have been no credible threats, but continues to monitor for any potential problems.

In the meantime, Phelps says the City is also prepared for everyday challenges.

“To the degree that if you have major arterials, do you have commercial grade tow trucks ready on standby, do you have trucks on standby if a mechanical breakdown blocks a major intersection,” Phelps said.

The Final Four events offer some unique challenges, starting with the number of people inside, which will be more than 100,000, says Glendale Police Chief Rick St. John.

“We also have a unique dynamic in that we have two games on Saturday, so we will be regressing people while others are trying to ingress,” St. John said.

St. John says they need to be mindful of security not only for all of those fans, but also everyone else coming in as well.

“We will have employees entering into the footprint and leaving. And it is not just public safety employees, it is employees that work for the private companies that will be out there,” St. John said.

And back at the EOC, they can help coordinate it all with a regional communications system, letting all agencies talk with each other, says Hubler.

“We have a great model here in the Valley here. We work very well together,” Hubler added.

All of which Phelps believes will not only keep the Final Four safe but help the Valley win even more major events.

“And I believe the Phoenix area, here in the Valley, we are really well situated to continue to compete for these large mega events in a large part because of how well we work together,” Phelps said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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