By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A day after tragic events unfolded in Brussels, authorities in Rio de Janeiro announced an anti-terrorism training program that leverages agents of the Office of Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) from the American Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Seventy police officers and firefighters took part in the anti-terrorism course, launched for security forces that will be active during the 2016 Olympics (August 5th – 21st).
Embratur, Brazil’s Institute of Tourism, estimated that 350,000 to 500,000 foreign tourists will arrive in the city to enjoy the Games. During the World Cup, 471,000 foreigners came to Rio, as well as 415,000 Brazilians.
Government sources report that the course, with nine modules, is carried out in partnership with the Department of Security, the federal government and the U.S. Embassy. Brazilian military and civilian police, and firefighters – participated for a week of training for the First Response to Terrorist Incidents.
The lectures and practical exercises involving case studies and awareness for possible attacks and decision making. Major Diogo Ribeiro of the Logistics Coordination Pacifying Police said, “The wider course gives us a vision of how to act, regardless of the motivation of actions.”
A team of engineers who will work in integrated centers of command and control sector (CICCs) in the four Olympic Zones of Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracanã participated in the training.
Fernando Albuquerque, deputy chief operating Civil Police told government press, “Experience and incident command procedures will qualify the coordinators of sectoral command centers for making fast decisions.”
For the qualification of agents, the Security Bureau has already signed agreements with the Ministry of Justice and the embassies of Spain, U.S., France, UK and Germany. Since 2011, more than 13,000 professionals have benefited from the training.
Officials expect that another 7,674 security professionals – 5,636 military police and 2,038 civil police officers, in addition to the guest officers of other institutions – will be trained in courses such as risk analysis, mass control, tourist security and languages, as well as anti-terrorism, before the Olympics arrive.