Mention the prospect of a Boston Olympics in 2024 and you're likely to hear an earful, whether it's from supporters touting infrastructure improvements or detractors bemoaning traffic and congestion. But one aspect of the Games that hasn't been discussed much? How to keep them safe. Homeland security expert Juliette Kayyem joined Boston Public Radio to explain what security measures would need to be taken should the Olympics come to Boston.
"The challenge of a big event that we are hoping to go forward with is of course you need to be secure but open. That's the Olympic spirit," Kayyem said.
To do that you need beefed-up security to anticipate, as Kayyem describes it, the "infinite" number of issues that could arise. Not only do you need to have security personnel at events, screening spectators and guarding exists and entrances, but you also need to control transportation to the United States in the time period leading up to the Games. That will involve streamlining the visa processes and being strict about who is allowed to come in to the city before the Games begin, Kayyem noted.
"There's going to have to be a rigorous yet open assessment of who's coming into the country, not just athletes," she said.
But should security concerns make Bostonians wary about hosting the games here? Absolutely not, said Kayyem.
"Let's try," she said. "The timing is right for us to try."
For more on security issues and the Olympics from homeland security expert Juliette Kayyem, tune in to her full interview on Boston Public Radio above.