The announcement comes days before the games are set to start
Security concerns have mounted recently
The state of Rio de Janeiro will deploy nearly 14,000 security officers – about a third more than previously planned – during the coming Olympic and Paralympic Games, Military Police General Commander Edison Duarte said Monday.
Authorities plan to deploy more officers to the Barra da Tijuca area – the neighborhood where the Olympic Park, Athletes Village and most of the Olympic sporting arenas are located.
The contingent will be part of the 85,000 security officers that have been deployed to the city. In addition to Rio’s state police, members of the Brazilian Armed Forces, navy and out of state police will be on patrol throughout the city.
Duarte also announced more than 3,000 vehicles would be used for policing during the Games, as well as three blimps spread throughout the city that will transmit high resolution images in real time.
The recent security increase announcement comes as the Olympics are set to begin Friday. Though the Games are just days away, many worry that Rio isn’t safe or prepared enough to successfully host the quadrennial competition.
“The security costs are rising much quicker than the revenue that’s coming in from TV and tickets,” NYU professor and former NBA executive David Kahn told CNN, “This has been by far the saddest, most sorrowful runup to any Olympics we’ve had in modern time.”
Olympics chief Thomas Bach has said that he has full confidence in Rio to maintain security.
The Brazilian Ministry of Justice recently dismissed the security company it contracted to guard entrances and monitor X-ray machines at Olympic venues.
It said the country’s National Security Forces would take over the job.
The company was hired on July 1 to provide a 3,400 staff but recruited only 500 workers.
One man hired to run the machines told CNN his own concerns about the recruitment process. He said he was not asked to provide proof he had no criminal record and that he and other workers had only to complete a brief online course in order to be deemed qualified.
“The training course was very quick – there should have been more to it,” said the man who asked not to be identified as he still wanted to work for the contractor, though he complained he didn’t have a proper schedule and had not been paid expenses.
Brazil is also dealing with economic and political crises and concerns over the spread of the Zika virus, among other issues.
Journalist Claire Rigby contributed to this report