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Atlanta / Olympics '96

The Security Team

July 19, 1996

Is it a light post or a surveillance camera? Is the blimp monitoring the marathon or tracking suspicious activities on the ground? Olympic security personnel will rely on high-tech gadgetry and a bit of deception to keep an eye on activities. The goal, organizers say is to provide the maximum amount of safeguards while keeping low visibility.

Special Precautions

* Army helicopters will carry infrared radars to track night movements in key areas.

* Military personnel guarding the Olympic Village will be equipped with night-vision goggles.

* Two centers have been established to detonate or defuse bombs.

* Chemical or germ-weapon detection gear will be on standby to be deployed if needed.

* In case of disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has placed on alert 25 specially equipped trucks that would support their command post with water, satellite uplinks, generators and telephone capabilities.

* Special chips embedded in badges will track when an individual passes a checkpoint in one of several sensitive area. Lost credentials can be locked out. The badges of certain wearers, such as delivery people, will be programmed to allow access only during particular times.

Security Force Includes

Military personnel: 10,000

State Law Enforcement Officers: 3,000

Volunteer law enforcement officials from throughout the world: 2,200

Local police: 1,800

FBI: 900

ACOC Internal Security: 12,000

Security Cost

Federal: $50 million (62.5%)

State: $30 million (37.5%)

Blimp On Patrol

It will feed video of ground activities to the city of Atlanta command center. The blimp is piloted by Tristano Caracciolo, who flew over the Los Angeles games.

Restricted Air Space

Aircraft other than the blimp and certain helicopters will be prohibited from flying lower than 3,000 feet of designated sites.

Atlanta Area Venues

2,500 ft. AGL (above ground level)

Lake Lanier: 1 mile radius

Wolf Creek Shooting Complex: 2 mile radius

Atlanta Beach: 2 mile radius

(Surface to but not including 3,500 AMSL)

Georgia International Horse Park: 3 mile radius

Olympic Village: 3 mile radius

(Surface to but not including 3,500 AMSL)

Georgia Dome: 3 mile radius

(Surface to but not including 3,500 AMSL)

Hands-On Screening Device

In high-security areas, a machine will read the hand characteristics of someone attempting to enter. It then will compare the information to a master measurement embedded in a microchip stored on the person's ID card. A perfect match is required to gain access.

Security Booths Have Legs

At least 35 portable security booths will be stationed by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games at various sites. They can be raised from ground level to 20 feet in seconds, extending an officer's surveillance area.

Eyes Everywhere

Surveillance cameras will be controlled by an operator at a command post miles away. They can provide a 360-degree field of vision, or isolate on a particular individual. In some areas, the cameras will be obvious. In others, they will be concealed inside objects such as street lamps.

Researched by EDITH STANLEY / Los Angeles Times

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