Rio military beefs up Olympic security presence by a third
RIO DE JANEIRO (CNN) — The state of Rio de Janeiro will deploy nearly 14,000 security officers — about a third more than previously planned — during the coming Olympic and Paralympic Games, Military Police General Commander Edison Duarte said Monday.
Authorities plan to deploy more officers to the Barra da Tijuca area — the neighborhood where the Olympic Park, Athletes Village and most of the Olympic sporting arenas are located.
Some 85,000 additional officers will be deployed to the city for the Games, including members of the Brazilian Armed Forces, Navy and police from across the country, the Brazilian federal government said in June.
Duarte also announced more than 3,000 vehicles would be used for policing during the Games, as well as three blimps spread throughout the city that will transmit high resolution images in real time.
The recent security increase announcement comes as the Olympics are set to begin Friday. Though the Games are just days away, many worry that Rio isn’t safe or prepared enough to successfully host the quadrennial competition.
“The security costs are rising much quicker than the revenue that’s coming in from TV and tickets,” NYU professor and former NBA executive David Kahn told CNN, “This has been by far the saddest, most sorrowful runup to any Olympics we’ve had in modern time.”
The Brazilian Ministry of Justice recently dismissed the security company it contracted to guard entrances and monitor X-ray machines at Olympic venues.
It said the country’s National Security Forces would take over the job.
Brazil is also dealing with economic and political crises and concerns over the spread of the Zika virus, among other issues.