By Rosemary Pollock
Salt Lake Temple a 'High Profile' Security Problem During Winter Olympics
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- When see the 2002 Olympic Games you will be seeing
the majesty of Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. The majesty of the granite downtown temple, that lies in a 17-block
"secure area" of Temple Square, will pose a high profile security problem.
The high profile security zone will be surrounded by chain-link fences that
will stretch from North Temple to 400 South and from 500 West to West Temple
and surround the Medals Plaza, the Delta Center and the Salt Palace.
Church security officials hope to make Temple Square as accessible as po
ssible to the tens of thousands of global visitors but are concerned about
security. "The challenge is to provide free and unimpeded access to [Temple
Square] and balance that with public safety," said Church spokesman Mike
Otterson. "You have to pay very close attention to public safety issues."
With less than a year to Opening Ceremony, Church security officials are
trying to decide to "mag" or "bag", police slang for magnetometers that
people walk through or surrender to bag searches. "It's good to be
overcautious," said Lou Bertram, a retired Salt Lake City FBI agent. "If the
Olympics were held in Rome, Vatican security would be on high alert."
Utah Olympic Public Safety Command (UOPSC) will oversee all security
procedures and have determined that magnetometers will be used at all
Olympic venues. "There is concern that the historic downtown City-County
Building would likely be a target," said John Sittner Salt Lake Olympic
Coordinator. "It's a difficult balance. We want to provide for an
open celebration, but there has to be protection of the public."
Visibility of Salt Lake Temple During 2002 Games Raises Security Concerns
Salt Lake Tribune 7Mar01 N1
By Michael Vigh: Salt Lake Tribune