Or the lack of it
I have written before about my doubts about the safety and security of the Rio Olympics. I keep seeing one thing after another that makes question how secure Olympics will be.
Here are the latest issues that make me doubt Brazil’s ability to secure the Olympics.
The contract to hire and train thousands of security screeners for the Olympics which starts on August 5 was only awarded only two weeks ago on July 1.
These are the private security guards who will monitor X-ray machines and pat down spectators for weapons and other contraband at all the Olympic venues.
The contract was awarded to Artel Recursos Humanos, a small employment outsourcing firm that has no history as a provider of security for major events.
To be able to do the job Artel will have to hire, train and do background checks on 6,000 screeners. From the date they go the contract they had 5 weeks to do all this. As of today they have 18 days.
The security screener contract for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics was awarded 10 months before the start of those games. It was awarded a year before the start of the 2012 London Olympics.
Another security problem
Brazil’s Secretariat for the Security of Large Events (SESGE), the agency that awarded the screening contract also announced that it had to cancel plans to install 315 additional surveillance cameras at the Deodoro sports complex which will have the second-largest number of events after the main Olympic Park.
SESGE only put out the request for bids in early June. They did not provide any details about why the contracting process failed.
And another security problems
Brazil’s National Force, Brazil’s equivalent of the US National Guard, is a key part of the 85,000-strong security force for the Olympics. During the Olympics, this unit will be responsible for protecting arenas and other event locations.
They have threatened to quit because of bad working conditions and accommodation.
Some officers claim that they have worked 16-20 hours shifts with no days off and some report working 80 hours a week.
When they arrived in Rio their housing had no furniture or beds. Some apartments did not have showers. There was mold on the walls and ceilings. There were areas that stank of sewage and had no electricity.
These are the people that would take up the slack if the private contractors aren’t doing a good job.
The officers of the National Force are the people who would normally take up the slack created by any poor training of the private contractors.
All this and makes me question if Brazil can keep the Olympics safe, especially in light of the recent terrorists attacks around the world.
I always end by saying “Stay safe and travel far.” But in this case the best way to stay safe is to NOT travel to the Olympics.