Security at the Olympic venues - what to expect

VANCOUVER, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - Olympic security officials want the public to have a clear understanding of what to expect from security when they line up to enter Olympic venues at Games time. Being ready will help everyone get to their seat quicker to enjoy the events.

Spectators will clear security screening faster if they are familiar with the conditions of entry which are outlined in their spectator guide and at vancouver2010.com.

"The public should treat going through security at a venue just like they would getting on an airplane," says Inspector Keith Davidson, private security coordinator for the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit (V2010 ISU.) "That means getting there early, bringing the smallest bag possible and emptying pockets of metal items. This will help us get you through quickly."

Davidson acknowledges this level of security is not something Canadians are accustomed to for a sporting event, but points out it's become standard practice based on past Olympic games and international competitions.

Spectators are strongly encouraged to arrive two hours prior to the start of events at city venues and three hours early for mountain venues. Similar to an airport, spectators will be asked to walk through a magnetometer and all belongings will be subject to x-ray screening.

Led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, (RCMP) the V2010 ISU is responsible for providing security to Olympic athletes and Internationally Protected Persons, as well as securing about 30 competitive and non-competitive venues during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. More than 100 police forces are helping the RCMP to provide security, and they'll be wearing uniforms from their home police department.

Contemporary Security Canada (CSC) was contracted by V2010 ISU to provide an estimated 5,000 security screening staff for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler. They will work under the supervision of police at the entrances to Olympic venues in pedestrian screening areas.

"Our security screeners have completed a comprehensive training program in preparation for the Games," says Todd Severson, Project Director with CSC. "Our first priority is to ensure the safety and security of the Games, including athletes, coaches and spectators."

Screeners from CSC and police from the ISU arranged a full rehearsal today at the Pacific Coliseum, to confirm screening procedures and train incoming staff. The Coliseum will host figure skating and short track speed skating.

"Screening at venues is part of ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all our spectators, staff and athletes," says Jan Damnavits, Director of Venue Management - City Cluster. "Spectators should prepare for the screening process before they reach the venue and can begin as early as today by reading their spectator guide or checking vancouver2010.com to become familiar with the list of restricted items and actions."

It's estimated that the screening process will take up to a minute. Ticket holders can assist by emptying their pockets, and putting all their belongings in a purse or bag. Assistance animals will be permitted, and provisions will be made for those in wheelchairs or with medical conditions.

For more information please see the Spectator Guide at www.vancouver2010.com

SOURCE VANCOUVER 2010 INTEGRATED SECURITY UNIT

For further information: For further information: Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit - Public Affairs, (604) 247-8600, www.v2010isu.com; Contemporary Security Canada, Claire Alter, Phone: (604) 812-5464, Email: calter@national.ca

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VANCOUVER 2010 INTEGRATED SECURITY UNIT

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