Winter Olympic Games security proceeds 'without hitch'

Monday, April 1, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY-Not only did the U.S. rank as one of the top medal recipients in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, the American security company responsible for the games' security equipment reported that security at the two-week long event went off without a hitch.

"The games will be looked at as a blueprint or basis for future events or future Olympic games," said Louis Chiera, director of Olympic marketing for Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sensor-matic, the game's official electronic security sponsor, which is now part of Tyco International.

"It couldn't have gone better as it relates to security," he said.

During the games, which were held Feb. 8 to Feb. 24, the company's 500 cameras assisted in inspecting suspicious packages, monitoring entrance areas where Garrett metal detectors were being used, as well as monitoring the safety of the Olympic Village, where 2,500 athletes were housed.

Federal, state and local officials made 15 arrests, examined more than 600 packages, and intercepted about five or six planes that entered into a temporary no-fly zone around the games sites, Chiera said.

About one-quarter of the equipment installed for the games will remain at the Olympic site, with the rest being resold at a discount from Tyco's ADT Security Service office in Salt Lake City, Chiera said.

Companies that officially sponsor the games are prohibited from releasing the value of their sponsorship, but Chiera said the company sees a "tremendous return" on their sponsorship in exposure to potential corporate clients, such as Coca-Cola, Visa, John Hancock, as well as to federal agencies overseeing operations at the games.

"All of these companies that we would love to do business with get a first-hand demonstration and see the equipment in action," he said.