Atlanta police chief thrilled with Super Bowl response; relieved it's over

ATLANTA — From pride, to relief, to a little exhaustion. That's how Atlanta's police chief said her department feels Monday as Super Bowl LIII winds down.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant has spent the last two years tracking the planning and the execution for the big game here in Atlanta.

Pretty soon, it'll be like none of this ever happened.

The one thing Atlanta police Chief Erika Shields said she will remember is that all of their preparation paid off.

[PHOTOS: New England Patriots win Super Bowl LIII]

“We’re thrilled,” Shields said. “We wanted Atlanta to shine. We wanted this to be successful and we wanted this to go in the record books without an asterisk. You know, in the past, we’ve always had…it’s either the weather, the violence, the traffic cock-ups, I mean, we just wanted to be asterisk-free and just be able to showcase the talents of the city.”

The APD-led mission took nearly two years to plan, with more than 40 federal, state and local agencies involved.


“Thank you, thank you. We could not have done this without the many partnerships,” Shields said.

Leaders from each agency guided resources from inside APD’s joint operations center.

“They were flawless in their execution, and from helping us with the security of events, with venues, with the dogs, with their tactical teams, helping us secure locations, Atlantic Station, MARTA -- MARTA did a phenomenal job, you know, there’s no issues there,” Shields told Diamant.

[PHOTOS: Super Bowl LIII Halftime show]

In the 10-day runup to the big game, APD made four arrests inside the Super Bowl footprint -- all minor stuff.

On game day, there were five arrests inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium -- all involving fans in off-limits areas.

Now that it’s all over, the big breakdown begins.

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“The troops are tired. It’s been a heavy lift,” Shields said. “It’s just such a relief, but we feel good.”

Shields said because of all of the extra federal state and local resources, there was no pause on policing the rest of the city just because there was a big game in town.