Super Bowl logistics and security concerns
February 03, 2016
With the Super Bowl coming to the San Francisco Bay Area this week security is bound to be top of mind, and you can expect a heightened level of vigilance on the waterfront.
Fortunately, the Port of San Francisco has a proven leader in place to deal with this challenge. Sidonie Sansom, who joined the port as director of homeland security in July 2005, recently told Logistics Management that existing protocols and partnerships will keep commerce humming throughout the duration of this annual sporting spectacle.
“We work in close conjunction with Oakland and the other ports in the Bay Area to ensure that both cargo and passenger traffic moves efficiently under any and all circumstances,” Sansom said. “It’s definitely a regional effort where security is concerned.”
Sansom is charged with developing, directing and implementing a comprehensive homeland security program for the port, and is also responsible for the port’s emergency plans and procedures—both in preparation for and in response to emergencies and disasters.
“The port’s security programs, as well as the emergency preparedness and response plans, are intended to create a safer and more secure environment for our employees, tenants, customers and the public, all of whom use the 7.5 miles of waterfront property we manage,” Sansom said.
Sansom has more than 10 years of experience in developing and leading integrated operations in emergency preparedness. “But it’s a continuing learning process,” she said. “We last put the Bay on high alert when the London bombings occurred, and we managed that process very well.”
That terrorist attack—which targeted London commuters just a month after Sansom began her job here in summer 2005—was a test that all stakeholders managed to see through. “Unlike many working ports, San Francisco must provide waterfront access to the public,” said Sansome. “It’s part of our mandate.”
Before joining the port, Sansom served as an emergency planner at the San Francisco International Airport, where she developed exercises to test emergency response and emergent threats, as well as cross-jurisdictional, multi-agency response procedures for the airport’s water perimeter security zone.
“There are many similar issues for air and sea ports,” Sansom said. “Both are international gateways for passengers and cargo and have complicated logistical networks.”
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