Protecting the games: Law enforcement's Olympic legacy of information sharing
By Jon Gordon, Deputy Chief (Retired), Atlanta Police Department & Professor of Homeland Security, American Military University
Coordinating the law enforcement and security responsibilities necessary to safeguard the Olympic Games is a task that takes years of preparation, thousands of people, and an international law enforcement effort. The task of protecting the Games is so enormous that regardless of which country hosts, there may be a lack of indigenous law enforcement expertise in place to secure such a massive international sporting event.
Fortunately, there is a well-established legacy of sharing professional knowledge among law enforcement professionals—individuals charged with securing previous Olympics (formally and informally) who make themselves available to subsequent host countries. These law enforcement professionals, from all over the world, get together to share strategies, lessons learned, and the methods necessary to fulfill mandated security requirements imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The Reality of Terrorism
The terrorist attack during the 1972 Munich Summer Olympic Games resulted in the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and forever changed the atmosphere of special events. After 1972, “the specter of terrorism would [henceforth] be linked to all international special events.”