Olympic Security Screening an Issue?
On Monday, February 15th, 2010 the Vancouver Olympics Integrated Security Unit failed to stop “an unidentified object [which] went through the pedestrian screening area” (RCMP Cpl. Darren Anderson) at BC Place Stadium before it was properly assessed and analyzed. Even though VANOC has implemented so many precautions and security measures to prevent these occurrences from happening, this situation proved that it was not as difficult as they had anticipated to smuggle illegal or questionable items into the Olympic Events and BC Place Stadium. Though it is not yet known what exactly the object was, nor will it likely be revealed, it was still a breach of security which could have lead to potentially fatal consequences.
With a staggering $900 million spent on the security alone at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, one would think that a sufficient amount would have been invested in proper employee training and screening methods, and that the security system should have been more or less impenetrable. Employees most likely were simply taking a brief glance at each bag as thousands of spectators poured through the venues doors. Surely with the given security budget, these issues would have been amongst the first that planners found adequate solutions to. The RCMP has offered no real explanation as to why this occurred, apart from assuring the public that security is being improved through training the staff with RCMP officer mentoring so that incidents like this will not happen again.
The Olympic Security Unit obviously had enough concern with this “unidentified object” to conduct a “security sweep to ensure the venue was safe,” however the point is that the object even made it through to begin with. Can we really trust that the other venues have proper security and training now that several security breaches have occurred and some police officers have even been removed for misconduct? Though such an unprecedented amount of money has been spent by the Federal and Provincial governments on the security budget, “only a fraction of [would] actually be spent on security” (Vancouver 2010 Security 5 Times Over Budget). In my eyes, it was a huge mistake to compromise the safety of these events for other Olympic factors. Security definitely should have been at the very top of the list, with every single aspect of it covered and tested to perfection.