Dale McElhattan, retired agent with the U.S. Diplomatic Security Services, is optimistic about Brazil’s ability to provide adequate security during the upcoming Olympic Games, but says “the Brazilians have a tough go” in front of them.
In this video interview with CCTV America, Dale explains that the police are not alone in their efforts to provide security for tourist and athletes alike. They are drawing upon “up to 85,000 soldiers and the national guard,” he says.
The “crime threat is pretty serious,” Dale explains, but he thinks they will be ready. Given the history of terrorist activity at previous Olympic Games, the Brazilians know what they are up against. They have left nothing to chance and have reached out to their foreign partners from East Asia to the United States for both technology solutions as well as manpower and communications.
When asked what visitors to the Olympics can do to protect themselves, Dale suggest, as a beginning, use the buddy system. Go out in pairs and follow the directions of the police with respect to where to go and where not to go.
The bottom line is, if you’re going to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games, be aware. Understand the threats and be aware of your surroundings at all times. There is not much any single individual can to do prevent a well planned terrorist attack, but everyone can be smart and think about how to avoid becoming a victim of crime.