Washington, D. C. Nov. 15, 2001 (AP by Robert Gehrke)–President Bush freed up another $10 million Wednesday to help protect the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City from potential terrorist attacks.
A total of $34.5 million in federal spending has been added to the $200 million Olympic security budget in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
It was a small part of the $40 billion anti-terrorism and economic recovery package approved by Congress in September, half of which was to be spent at the president’s discretion.
In October, Bush had previously approved $20 million Defense Department to provide additional military personnel for the Olympics and $4.5 million to buy more metal detectors and surveillance equipment.
With the additional funding, Olympic organizers are confident they can stage a safe and successful games, said Salt Lake Organizing Committee spokeswoman Caroline Shaw.
“The games will go on and we have complete support of the federal government,” she said.
The $234 million in security spending compares to $98 million spent at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
The state of Utah and the SLOC each budgeted $35 million for security as well.
Within 24 hours of the Sept. 11 attacks, Olympic safety commanders were reassessing their classified security plan.
The additional money will go to expanding the restricted airspace over Olympic venues; add law enforcement personnel at venues, including plainclothes federal agents; fence in some areas; install more metal detectors and surveillance equipment; and place troops at some buildings, such as food warehouses.
Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press