Bucks County’s finest were on the front lines of keeping Philadelphia Eagles fans safe during Thursday’s big celebration.
A contingent of 32 officers and sheriff’s office deputies from across Bucks County traveled to Center City in Philadelphia to assist city law enforcement with securing the big Super Bowl victory celebration. The local officers were part of the Bucks County Major Incident Response Team (MIRT), a force multiplier that has special training dealing with crowd control and bio-hazards.
Langhorne Borough Chief of Police John Godzieba, who leads MIRT with Morrisville Chief George McClay, said the officers and four specialized vehicles went down to Philadelphia around 7 a.m. and returned to the suburbs around 5:30 p.m.
Bucks County’s MIRT and officers from Montgomery County took to the area along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway near Eakins Oval to secure the parade route.
The officers had a front-row seat to the parade and were only feet away as the Super Bowl-winning Eagles walked toward the stage on the steps of the Art Museum, Godzieba said. He added they also were near a huge screen and blaring speakers during the festivities.
The chief said spectators behaved and had a good time, noting some fans brought beer up into the trees above and had their own party.
“It was a really festive atmosphere,” he said.
The 75-member MIRT has assisted Philadelphia with the papal visit, Democratic National Convention, Army-Navy Game, NFL Draft and with other events throughout the year. Suburban police and city homeland security teams often train together and assist one another.
Godzieba said Philadelphia will reimburse Bucks County agencies for Thursday’s assistance.