Security top priority for 2014 Gay Games planners

Cleveland/Akron event expects 10,000 athletes

CLEVELAND, Oh, - All eyes are on the 2014 Olympic Winter Games as opening ceremonies took place in Sochi, Russia. Security measures there may be some of the tightest ever. The world will be watching to see if Sochi's "Ring of Steel" will keep athletes and spectators safe. Also paying close attention, a Cleveland group bringing a similar event here this summer.

"People representing 50 countries coming here and participation in 36 sports, cultural events, opening and closing ceremonies," said Gay Games event coordinator Rob Smitherman.

The 2014 Gay Games is coming to the Cleveland/Akron area. The cities will host 10,000 athletes.  Of all the planning that goes into an event like this, Smitherman said one plan stands out above the rest.

"Security is one of the most important pieces that we are planning for."

Which is why Smitherman is working closely with all of areas major law enforcement players.

"We're working with the City of Cleveland Police Department, with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department, and various national (groups) the FBI, National Security Agency...."

Tim Dimoff is founder and president of SACS Consulting, Inc. that deals with event and workplace security issues. Dimoff said Cleveland and Akron, unlike Sochi, are already ahead of the game when it comes to providing security for large crowds like concerts, races, and major sporting events.

"Because of that previous experience at major events in Cleveland," said Dimoff, "I think that they'll be able to jointly provide some very good security.'

Security lessons learned in Sochi, may help make the 2014 Gay Games a safer and more successful event.

The 2014 Gay Games will be held in Cleveland and Akron on August 9 - 16.

To see the Cleveland Gay Games spot that ran during the Winter Olympics opening ceremony click on this link:  



Print this article Back to Top