Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Security stretch: outside companies, volunteers help at Olympic cycling races

by Kerry Crump
In London at the Olympics

DORKING, ENGLAND— The smiling faces of the Surrey Ambassadors, provided a sharp contrast to the scowling security guards from Trojan Security that slowly walked up and down the sides of the street at the women’s cycling road race Sunday.
This contrast, however, is symbolic of how each group was asked to serve.
Volunteers from the Surrey area and England as a whole were ready to get involved, said Amanda Gilhooley of Newcastle, a team leader for the volunteers.
“We’ve known that we were going to be volunteering here for at least 9 months, maybe even a year,” she said.
Alan Beaver, one of the 400 Surrey residents that applied to be an ambassador, has taken an optimistic outlook on the G4S situation.

“They probably overstretched themselves and made promises they couldn’t keep, but I think they always planned that the army would be there as a reserve anyways,” he said. “While the G4S situation is unfortunate, we were always meant to be the smiling happy faces of Surrey.”
G4S was hired to provide full Olympic security, but outside security companies such as Trojan and the British Army were called in last minute to assist G4S.
“A lot of people are not happy with G4S,” said Robert Morris of Portsmouth and Trojan employee. “They’re the big one that let the Olympics down which is why we had to be brought in.”
Those called in to back up security question how the misunderstanding with G4S could have happened.
“They’re quite a well known company. I’ve got friends that work for them, and they’ve had how many months, years, to plan this? We’ve all had to give our weekends and come in because G4S couldn’t do their job,” said Morris.

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