Olympic Security - An Overview
What to worry about if you're going to the 2012 Summer Olympics? Saftey and security are tops on many people's minds.
Keeping athletes and the public safe during the Summer Olympics is a major task for organizers. Years of planning and tens of thousands of people are involved.
Now, as the Games approach, the international company hired to coordinate safety says it does not have enough resources. Reality or ruse? Is it a PR atempt to flush out terrorists, an attempt to grab more money from the British government, or a cry for help? The bottom line, this gig could be amke or break for the security firm,
People planning to attend the 2012 Olympics in London should be prepared for very tight security. Getting into a venue will be like boarding an airplane. Ticket holders will have to pass through a security check point. There will be a list of banned or restricted items which will be confiscated. For example, people will not be allowed to bring water or any other liquids into venues.
Organizers hope to sell roughly 9 million tickets to the games.
Security at the lavish opening ceremonies will be particularly tight. Queen ElizabethII and Prince Phillip have confirmed they will be attending the event.
Security costs for the games are expected to top $1 billion. There are approximately 17,000 athletes competing. The cost of their security breaks down into $5500 per competitor, per day.
The 2012 Olympics run from July 27th to August 12th.
The U.S. will send up to 1,000 security personnel, including 500 FBI agents who's primary mission will be to protect American athletes. They will be in addition to a Secret Service detail assigned to protect First Lady Michelle Obama if she attends the Olympics.
People who live in a number of high rise apartments with a clear view of Olympic venues have been given notice that troops may be stationed at their building and surface to air missiles may be positioned on their roof during the games.
Olympic Security - The Torch
A group of security officers will guard the torch and runners throughout the route.
Olympic Security - Personnel
Gs4 is the main security contractor for th 2012 Games. It is the world’s largest private security company with 630,000 people operating in 125 countries.
The Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the Army will provide up to 13,500 personnel. That is more than the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan.
7,500 troops will work as security guards at venue screening checkpoints. 5,000 will work with London police. Another 1,000 will provide logistical support.
Members of the elite Special Air Services (SAS) will be at work during the games. They specialize in counter terrorism.
Twelve thousand police officers will be assigned to the games.
Olympic Security - Other Assets
England and the city of London is managing and mobilizing other assets to provide security for the Olympics.
Organizers say they want visitors to the London games to feel secure.
Several anti-terrorism exercises have been carried out on London's subway and at the athete's village.
The Royal Marines will be based near Greenwich on Britain's largest naval ship HMS Ocean.
Unmanned drones will fly over Olympic venues.
Rapier air defense missiles will be placed on high alert.
Snipers will be placed in helicopters.
Members of explosive demolition teams and sniffer dog units will be used throughout the games.
Royal Air Force jets and personnel will be moved closer to London.
A fleet of powerful military inflatables will be on standby on the East London riverside.
A high tech system will be used to tack the outbreak of disease.
One thousand FBI agents and armed U.S. diplomatic personnel will be on patrol.
There will be an 11 mile long, 5,000 volt electric fence constructed.
There will be hundreds of security video cameras placed around games venues.
Olympic Security - A Dark History
During the 1972 Olympics in Munich, two Israeli athletes were killed inside the athlete's village. Another nine were taken hostage by members of Black September, an offshoot group of the Palestinian liberation Organization.
All nine Israeli hostages, one German police officer and five terrorists were killed in a failed rescue attempt.
The incident became known as the Munich Massacre and forever changed the face of security at the Olympic Games.
These games will mark the 40th anniversary of the tragic event. The significance is not lost on organizers planning security for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Like going through airport security anywhere in the world, security at the 2012 summer Olympics in London has a set of rules.
Know them. Follow them, and hope the rainy weather is the worst that happens in these games.