POLITICS

Private security arrangements for Pan Am Games on budget, TO2015 says

05/14/2015 01:11 EDT | Updated 05/14/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Private security arrangements for this summer's Pan Am Games are on budget, organizers said as they announced the latest firm hired to watch over venues across the Greater Toronto Area.

The TO2015 organizing committee is responsible for arranging private security to provide asset protection and access control at dozens of venues and construction sites, as well as procuring security equipment for police.

With the final contracts signed and most procurement done, TO2015's executive vice-president of operations, sports and venue management says its portion of security preparations is on track to come in within its roughly $8-million budget.

Allen Vansen says much of the money has gone toward screening equipment such as x-ray machines for the Integrated Security Unit led by Ontario Provincial Police, though some has been obtained through sponsorship deals.

There is also a sponsorship component to the security contract announced Thursday with Sword Management, which will provide security at more than 20 venues during the Games, some of it for free.

Vansen says Sword, which currently provides security to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and worked at the 2012 London Olympics, is one of four firms hired in February.

The other three are Contemporary Security Canada, Reilly Security and Neptune Security Services. Financial details of the contracts have not been released.

In a report issued last fall, Ontario's auditor general expressed concerns that TO2015 had waited too long to hire private security, leaving contractors little time for recruiting and training.

But Vansen says he's "extremely confident" the companies will have "no trouble" getting the necessary manpower.

"Having been able to award it to four different providers, we've spread the load, if you will, in terms of what each of those providers, one, already have from a manpower perspective, and two, any additional recruitment that they needed to do," he said.