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Making the Olympics a safe one

MUNICH 1972. The Israeli Olympic national team are taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists and later massacred. The world watched in horrified disbelief.

Events of the magnitude of the Olympic Games are security nightmares, particularly in the wake of recent terrorist attacks like 9/11 and the 7/7 bombing that took place in London, the day after it a announced that the Olympics were coming to the city.

So many high-profile athletes in one place, and the full attention of the international media is a lure almost irresistible to those who want to make a statement.

The Olympic Games are already considered a “severe” terror threat by the British military exacerbated by the killing of Osama bin Laden and the war in Libya. SAS teams have been drafted in to beef up security.

Superintendent Leroy Logan MBE, who marked 28 years in the Met Police on June 20, is part of the Olympic and Paralympic Policing Coordination Team.

He is the learning and legacy lead, in that he is responsible for all the knowledge management, to ensure the force takes lessons from the event with regard to safety and security.

Superintendent Logan, the founder of the Met’s Black Police Association, said: “The Olympic Games is a sporting and cultural event, but we want to make sure it has a security overlay that is as unobtrusive as possible.
“We are working to make sure that we can respond to any threats and, hopefully, make sure those threats don’t happen and mitigate them in some way.”

The former Hackney deputy borough commander was unable to disclose any details about tactics, but will later be involved in creating a “legacy” document – a final write-up of the successes of the Games, as well as enhancing the reputation of the Met Police to deliver a top rate security plan.

He will then call time on his longstanding career and focus on his social enterprise Reallity (sic) and other work with young people.

The married father-of-three who won tickets for his wife and daughter to watch the synchronised swimming said: “It is a pleasure to be part of London 2012, but being there in the audience would be an added bonus.

“It’s a great way to end my career and I am leaving the Met a very different place from when I started. I think I have done my bit to leave a good foundation to build on so others won’t face the same challenges, internally and externally, that I did as a police officer. There wouldn’t be success, unless there were successors and I’ve spotted some talent and can pass on the baton, and move out of the way.”

One of Logan’s toughest hours in the force came when he was falsely accused of corruption over an £80 hotel bill. He was cleared of any wrongdoing and paid £100,000 in damages in 2003.

“The allegations against me were unfounded and I was confident the truth would come out. There were some hard times like when my son aged ten asked me if I was going to prison. But I knew the ethics and integrity I follow will stand me in good stead, and it did,” Logan said.

In his career, Logan was a contributor to the MacPherson report and was one of the officers to speak out about instiutional racism in the police.

He said: “You have to have that strength of character to know that if you stick your head above the parapet, you will become a target.

“You need to make sure you are standing on solid ground, if you have skeletons in the closet, don’t go to work and challenge things. If your conscience is clean, and you are doing it for the right reasons, go for it.”

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