Security Screening at the Rio Games



Going into the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, there were concerns about the level of security. In 2015, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security had given Brazil a Crime Rating of Critical. Although the word was that security had improved, there was still trepidation from many athletes and their home countries.

Rio, in an effort to ease the minds of Olympic athletes and fans alike, instituted the largest security infrastructure in the history of the international games.

Everything should go smoothly, right?

According to many, while the number of security forces was high, the execution was poor. Security initially planned to x-ray screen all attendees. As huge lines of spectators in intense heat began to form outside of the stadium and spectators couldn’t get into the events. This resulted in half-filled stadiums for a number of events.

Changes needed to be made

According to the Wall Street Journal, retired police officers were brought in to help with the overwhelming screening needs. This proved to be a problem though as many of these retired officers were not trained with the current screening methods. The chaos continued…

E agora? (What now? in Portuguese)

As a result of the continued long lines and half empty venues, the Rio Olympics security personnel decided to x-ray screen attendees at random, while conducting physical searches on every individual. While this made the lines move quicker, it also could have proved to be the wrong decision.

So while here in the United States most of what we heard about from the media was a certain American swimmer and Dancing With the Stars contestant “relieving himself” outside of a Brazilian gas station, there were clearly more important issues involving the police and security at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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