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Games security a top priority

Posted: Sunday, March 05, 2006

 

  Security at the Arctic Winter Games has involved various government agencies including the FBI, Office of Homeland Security, and local Police Departments Photo By Lee Johnson

Security at the Arctic Winter Games has involved various government agencies including the FBI, Office of Homeland Security, and local Police Departments

Photo By Lee Johnson

Security for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games has been two years in the making, involving the FBI, Homeland Security and local law enforcement. “The plan has been set in motion and we’re ready,” said John Lucking, Jr., Soldotna chief of police and Games security co-chair.

The FBI and Homeland Security did a threat assessment, which looks at any inherent threat to an event such as the Games, from a local threat to an international threat, Lucking said. Patrols are being increased with the help of extra troopers from Anchorage.

“There will be approximately 150 law enforcement and 100 non-law enforcement volunteers for security during the Games,” said Lucking. Security personnel and video surveillance will be on-site 24 hours day at all venues and housing locations for the athletes, Lucking said.

The Peninsula State Troopers will work 12-hour shifts with no days off during the Games. Five troopers out of Anchorage, plus a trooper helicopter will be on the Peninsula during the games, according to the Soldotna State Trooper Dispatch.

Athletes began arriving at Kenai Airport on Friday at midnight where a customs area was setup and interviews were conducted. Proper identification such as passports and visas were required for all entering the U.S. at this temporary point-of-entry.

Once the games begin, “should something occur that the security of the games needs to be increased, the public can expect the security chairs, myself and Chief Lucking, will clearly and safely explain as best we can that there has been a threat increase,” said Chuck Kopp, Kenai chief of police and Games security co-chair.

“I am hoping for non-eventful event, where security is concerned,” said Kopp.



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