With a price tag of about $30 million, security and emergency response services for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City were massive undertakings.
Security was a paramount concern because the games came on the heels of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., said Weber County Commissioner Craig L. Dearden.
"It made us review the plan to make sure we covered all our bases," he said. "It freed funding for manpower and equipment to make sure we added a little more security to the games."
Dearden served as Utah's public safety commissioner from 1997 to early 2001.
A comprehensive plan for the Salt Lake City games was developed by a 35-member Olympic Public Safety Command made up of representatives from law enforcement agencies and fire departments throughout Utah, as well as the FBI and Secret Service.
"Everyone had to buy into the plan to make it successful," Dearden recalled.
The public safety command was established by the Legislature in 1997.
It took about five years before the start of the games to formulate the plan, said former Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner, who served on the safety command because The Ice Sheet in Ogden was one of the Olympic venues.
The plan addressed staffing needs at each venue, uniforms to be worn by personnel, deployment of equipment such as radios and metal detectors, crowd control, emergency medical procedures, and techniques to detect and prevent terrorist attacks, Dearden said.
The plan also included development of a special 800-megahertz radio communications system, SWAT teams and civil disorder units, Greiner said.
The Olympic Public Safety Command was headquartered in Salt Lake City and several regional centers, including one in Weber County, Greiner said.
Security command members attended the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia, where they worked at various venues to prepare for the Salt Lake City games.
The $30 million used to fund security and emergency response services for the Salt Lake City games was provided largely by the federal government and the Olympic organizing committee, Dearden said.
The funds were used to provide housing, purchase equipment and pay for training for about 2,500 police and fire personnel from Utah and other states who volunteered to work at the games, he said.
Overall, the plan developed by the security command was effective, Dearden said.
"It was a big project and a good, coordinated effort," he said. "The result was very good."