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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164586 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Olympic Security Not Exactly World Class
Journal: Law Enforcement Quarterly  Dated:(November 1996-January 1997)  Pages:13-14,37
Author(s): D Corn
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 3
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on the author's experience as an out-of-State, full- time police officer who volunteered to serve on a security team for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, this article draws lessons for similar security details and police operations in general.
Abstract: The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) decided to form a volunteer group of police officers from around the world to complement Georgia law enforcement officers in providing security for the games. Ads ran in United States and foreign police publications approximately 2 years before the games. Of the more than 9,000 officers who responded, 2,200 were selected for what was called the Security Team Program (STP). No background checks were conducted on the respondents. All an applicant had to do was present a letter signed by the head of his/her department, affirming the applicant's status as a full- time police officer. Such a document could easily be supplied by anyone determined to infiltrate the security team. Some members of the team were housed at Atlanta's Moorhouse College, whose accommodations featured missing window unit air conditioners, broken phones, and a location in a high-crime area. The author's group was housed in Athens, where the accommodations were much better. The management of STP was virtually nonexistent. The lobby of the dorm was filled with boxes of uniforms and shoes that were tried on at the leisure of the team members. Information on the STP agenda and responsibilities was by word of mouth. Training was cursory and authoritarian, since procedures were not to be questioned or revised. STP members were to be unarmed and were instructed not to use force. Instead, they were to call for assistance from Georgia law enforcement personnel. Transportation problems constantly imperiled security efforts throughout the duration of the games. In the absence of structure and leadership, the STP functioned by the determination of its members to draw on their years of experience in law enforcement to perform professional security operations. If structure and trained leadership had been provided, along with accountability for performance, security would have been more effective. The experience showed that supervisors who are organized and communicate well with those under them will generate a much higher work performance than those who lack these characteristics.
Main Term(s): Special events policing
Index Term(s): Georgia (USA); Police crime-prevention; Police management; Special purpose public police
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