Integrated Command Center to Coordinate Security Efforts for Rio 2016
By Dialogo January 05, 2016
The decision making for public security during the 2016 Olympics in Rio will be made inside a four-story building that houses 98 55-inch LED televisions – forming a video wall that measures 17 meters wide and 5 meters tall – a heliport, and a crisis management center, among other features.
When the competition begins on August 5th, the Integrated Command and Regional Control Center (CICCR, for its Portuguese acronym), situated in the Cidade Nova neighborhood, will be responsible for guaranteeing integration among government security forces that will safeguard the spectators, athletes, residents, tourists, and businesses during the 2016 Olympics.
Inspired by models adopted in New York, London, Mexico City, and Madrid, the CICCR encompasses government agencies at the municipal, state, and federal levels. The CICCR has been operational since 2013, when officials there worked on its first big challenge: providing security for soccer's Confederations Cup. Since then, it has been involved in World Youth Day, the 2014 World Cup, and several test case events for the Olympics. The CICCR has by now become part of daily life in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
The SESGE to lead coordinated effort
The Extraordinary Division for Security at Large Events (SESGE, for its Portuguese acronym), a federal government agency, will lead the coordination effort. CICCR will also have representatives from the State Security Department, the Military Police for Rio de Janeiro State, the Federal Police (PF), the General Coordination Office for Area Defense, the National Force, the Rio de Janeiro Fire Department, the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN), the Federal Highway Police, the Rio City Hall’s Operations Center, the Municipal Guard, the Department of Law Enforcement, the Municipal Olympic Company, the Rio Traffic Engineering Company (CET-Rio), the Mobil Emergency Treatment Service, Municipal Civil Defense, the Olympic Government Authority, and the 2016 Rio Committee.
“We are committed to providing full security at this event, from the athletes to the spectators and referees, and on the game field and the surrounding area,” SESGE Secretary Andrei Rodrigues said. “No other country had the number of large events that we had, especially one just after the other. No other country has seen that sequence of events, which has allowed us to put into practice protocols and an integration format that will be a legacy for the country, the state, and the city. The [World] Cup was the biggest test. Even so, we know that it was nothing compared to the Olympics. During the Cup, there were about 860 athletes from 32 countries. At the Olympics, there will be around 10,000 athletes from 200 countries.”
The CICCR will not be the only control center operating in Rio during the Games. There will be four sector centers, in the Olympics' four most significant regions: Barra da Tijuca, Deodoro, Copacabana, and Maracanã. Additionally, each venue or set of venues will have its own Integrated Security Center, which will answer to the CICCR in Brasília. The point is to be able to solve problems immediately in the event of a crisis – and resolve them locally.
“We are going against our cultural instinct, which is to centralize decision making," explained Roberto Alzir, Deputy Secretary for Large Events in the state of Rio. "The idea now is to decentralize operations, so that 95 percent of the challenges can be resolved locally."
The CICCR and its satellite centers will be in constant communication with the Olympics Coordination Center – the main operations center – along with the Rio Operations Center, which deals primarily with urban mobility issues; the Armed Forces Air Defense Center; and the ABIN. The Integrated Counter Terrorism Center and the International Police Cooperation Center will also participate. To facilitate immediate communication, each center will have a representative for the other centers. Overall, 47,000 public security professionals and 38,000 defense professionals will work during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August and September 2016.
No change of protocol following Paris attacks
Security protocols for the Rio 2016 Games have not changed since the terrorist attacks in Paris, which occurred on November 13th and killed more than 130 people.
“The terrorist threats were already one of the variables we considered, and they continue to be one,” Deputy Secretary Alzir said. “The scenario in regards to Brazil and the Games has not changed, according to intelligence analysts. We have solid prevention and mitigation protocols in place.”
The PF has a chief officer and an agent serving as attachés in Paris. On the night of the attacks, the two went to the scenes and followed everything closely, according to Secretary Rodrigues.
“The Federal Police is a member of Interpol and has a counter terrorism unit that has been in operation for 20 years,” he said. “Within the Extraordinary Division, we created an observer policy in which we send almost 100 police officers to accompany the efforts of counter terrorism units in several countries. We were at the Boston Marathon, the [United Nations] General Assembly, the U.S. Tennis Open, the Tour de France, the World Athletics Championships in China, and various other events. Brazil adopts the best practices.”
Collaboration among security forces
Integration among several security agents is the main practice, according to Secretary Rodrigues, who gave this example of how it works: “At the World Cup, when delegations were arriving at the airport, we had to work together with the PF to act as immigration authorities; with the National Health Monitoring Agency to monitor health issues; with the Federal Revenue Agency for customs duties; with the Highway Police to direct traffic; with CET-Rio, to have synchronized traffic lights; and with the Military Police to provide security at the airport. There is no security activity at a large event that any institution is going to perform by itself.”
In October 2015, the Olympic Games Strategic Plan was published with three main elements: Public Security, with the CICCR; Defense, with the Armed Forces; and Intelligence, with ABIN. The plan also contained tactical and operational plans, as well as stressed interagency communications among agents.
“Everything is ready. In the last few years, we have developed a lot in the area of intelligence and we have improved the flow of information," Deputy Secretary Alzir said. "Only a few details are left, which we will fine tune during some final test events."