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Olympic Games Athens 2004 Security

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The Weesper European VIP Security Services owner Dick Kuizenga is currently active in the Olympic village in Athens. The site is checked on Sunday and Monday with sniffer dogs for explosives. Because of threat of terrorist attacks, all rooms are fully inspected and checked. A week ago, three explosive sniffer dogs were shipped by car to Athens.

After a long drive and boat trip, they arrived Friday in Athens. Together with their escorts they used until Sunday to rest and get used to the high temperatures. Then the real work begins. "We have the task to search for improvised bombs (IED), as it technically is called."

The area assigned to us is only accessible through security gates. You can check people well. But there are also trucks and couriers inside. That is why we were there. With our dogs we check all the stuff coming in, says Kuizenga who coordinates the project. Of the three dogs, two are fully trained. With their extremely sharp nose they can recognize twelve basic materials for making explosives. The third is a young spaniel and is there to learn. "He now recognizes three substances, but the important thing is that he gains experience with the search.

For these dogs that is very important. Maybe we put something down, so he learns to find something in a different place than where he usually trains. Working with dogs is not easy. After each half hour of explosives searching, a dog needs half hour to an hour rest.

Everything inside out. Prior to the inspection of incoming traffic, the whole area is 'clean' as it is called by Kuizenga. "That's a lot of work. However, with dogs you can do a lot, but you also need people who are trained to detect explosives. A dog cannot work under a low ceiling. And everything is turned inside out. For example: on the field, a large sports hall with fire extinguishers. They are for us all suspicious objects.

Who says that extinguishers do not have a dangerous cargo? So they are vetted by us and checked and sealed. It is much easier for the security check to see if the fire extinguishers been tampered with.

From Sunday to Monday night forty buildings will be checked in all areas. Kuizenga is not afraid of failure. An attack is in his eyes very hard to prevent. "You can not do more than your best. If you over see something, they have been smarter. Even a dog can be a mistake, and not to mention, equipment. Recently I have seen a device three times indicating that an envelope contained explosives, but the dog did not react. We have the envelope opened and there appeared to be nothing. "Our task is to monitor, but not removal. If one dog responds positively to something, you get another dog. If this one also indicates that something is wrong, we inform the Greek authorities. But we can already move to evacuation."

Athens in the eyes of Kuizenga a potential risk for terrorism. All eyes of the world are focused on the Olympic Games. "Greece has done all they can for security. For example, the Americans and Israelis were allowed to help and there is a NATO team present. Or that has been enough, we know only at the beginning of September when the Olympics end. If nothing happened, you can say it's all been wonderful."

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