The Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City are to become a great trial not only for athletes. The number of guards involved in maintaining security during the Olympic Games (16,000 people) is six times more than the whole number of the athletes. The problem of security has always been one of the most important concerns during Olympic Games. It has become the most crucial concern after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the USA.
The work of the security service is to be the key factor demonstrating the success of the Olympic Games. Sixty American services are to maintain security during the winter games. The number of guards will be two times more than during the Olympic Games in Atlanta, and the spending on security is to be also doubled and will make up $310 million. According to some estimates, the Olympic Games will be the greatest security operation over the whole history of the USA. Sharpshooters and ski patrol will be involved in the operation, and special metal detecting archs will be mounted. Antibiotics have been supplied to the place in case of a biological attack. The games are to be held in 20 different parts of the city, which will be a very hard task for the security services. In addition, the authorities fear that terrorists may organize an act not at the games’ official site, but nearby. A bomb exploded in a park during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. That is why 50 more security officers have been provided for patrolling such places during the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.
Local shops, cafes, and even churches have already taken measures to guarantee their security. Training for emergency situations has been organized in one of the pubs.
The organizers of the Olympic Games have faced a really complex task: the athletes and guests are to be guaranteed complete security, but it is also very important to make the security’s work unobtrusive and less visible. The luggage of every visitor of the Olympic games is to be examined four times: first, by a dog trained to find explosives; then, bags and cases are to be scanned two times and only after that a manual examination is to follow. Invisible sensors for the detection of chemical and biological agents in the air are to be installed everywhere. TV cameras, installed in every possible area, will transmit information to the single center. Security services are to exchange information constantly to guarantee more effective work. Security services failed to establish such well coordinated co-operation during the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Sergey Borisov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva