The Department of Homeland Security is sending 500 agency personnel to Los Angeles County, California, to make sure Sunday's Super Bowl is secure after issuing a warning this week that U.S. truckers may stage a protest during the game like the one happening in Canada.
''The Department of Homeland Security is fundamentally a department of partnerships, and those partnerships are critical to ensuring the safety and security of Super Bowl operations as well as that of the surrounding community,'' DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayrokas said in a press release from the agency Wednesday.
''Our dedicated DHS workforce is working collaboratively alongside our federal, state, and local partners to provide operational and technical support to the NFL, City of Inglewood, and State of California to keep this national event safe. Just like the game itself, vigilance is a team effort, so please remember: if you see something, say something.''
The announcement came the day after Yahoo News reported that the department contacted state and local law enforcement agencies in a bulletin Tuesday, warning that U.S. truckers could stage a protest like the one in Canada that has gridlocked that nation's capital, Ottawa, for almost two weeks.
The protest of COVID-19 mandates in Canada has used thousands of trucks to block roads all over the country, Newsweek reported.
DHS ''has received reports of a convoy of truckers planning to potentially block roads in major metropolitan cities in the United States in protest of, among other things, vaccine mandates for truck drivers,'' Yahoo News reported documents obtained by the organization said.
The bulletin warned that if such a protest takes place, it could ''severely disrupt transportation, federal government, and law enforcement operations through gridlock and potential counterprotests.''
President Joe Biden spoke on Fridaywith Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and pledged support to keep roads and bridges between Canada and the United States open, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
''While we certainly believe in peaceful protests, this could impact communities and workers being able to travel back and forth across the bridge'' to Canada, Psaki said. ''Whatever their intended ‘stated' purpose is, this effort has the potential to have a huge impact on workers and the American public.''
Regarding reports of a domestic protest scheduled for March, she said that DHS is aware and will take steps to make sure it does not impact commercial trade around the potential cities the protest may take place.
''We are working to address this on all fronts,'' Psaki said.
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