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Protecting the Spirit of the Winter Olympics

NCJ Number
Security Management Volume: 32 Issue: 4 Dated: (April 1988) Pages: 39-46,48
T Abrams
Date Published
9 pages
This article describes the security organization, techniques, and operations for the XV Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1988.
At the top of the security organization was the Olympic Security Council, composed of the solicitor general of Alberta, the president of the Olympic Organizing Committee, the mayor of Calgary, the commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and the chairman of the Calgary Police Commission. Because the games occurred both within Calgary and surrounding areas, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and the RCMP formed a Joint Forces Security Coordination Committee. The joint forces' responsibility was to ensure a peaceful and orderly staging of the games, to protect all participants and property, to prevent and detect crime, and to respond as needed. The CPS was responsible for all sports venues within the city limits, and the RCMP handled all venues outside the city. CPS district commanders were responsible for venue security within their districts. A volunteer security staff of approximately 1,000 persons was selected and trained to be the 'eyes and ears' for the police. A new high-security card exceptionally resistant to tampering and counterfeiting was used to ensure authorized entrance to venues and athlete dormitory areas. Security techniques included random, hourly checks of the athletes' villages; regular searching of hotels, venues, and key vehicles for explosives; security cameras to monitor venue activities; and ski and snowmobile security patrols for outdoor events.