RIO DE JANEIRO — Heavy security is in place ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Channel 11's Gordon Loesch reported that roving military patrols and soldiers with machine guns make up part of the security presence in Rio.
“I just didn't expect to see the Army with all their camo and guns,” Rayvion Sanford, of Cincinnati, said.
The security isn’t limited to Olympic Park, which consists of six sports arenas within walking distance. It extends to areas like Copacabana Beach, where a Navy ship patrols the shore.
A security team of 88,000 police officers and soldiers will be on the streets for the duration of the Olympics, as 500,000 visitors and thousands of athletes fill the region.
“You see the police and the military. It's scary, but I felt secure here,” Daniela Alminza, of Cincinnati, said.
Sid Hopkins is no stranger to the Olympics. He’s a pin collector and is attending his ninth games.
“I felt very safe everywhere I've been,” Sid Hopkins, an Olympic pin collector attending his ninth games.
While the increased security brings reassurance to some, others are left feeling uneasy by the sight of soldiers and guns.
“I think the more of that that you see, the more nervous you become,” Charlotte Lewis said.
Although terrorism is a concern, street crime is also.
On Wednesday, 450 police raided favela neighborhoods, which are the scenes of shootings almost daily.
Cox Media Group