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RCMP determined to get their buses and their beds

Police put out requests for proposals for shuttle services and more accommodation during Olympics

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Needed: bus drivers who don’t mind being on call 24 hours a day and responding to emergencies with a busload of RCMP tactical officers.

That is just part of the requirements outlined by the RCMP as it begins its search for a carrier to transport integrated security personnel (ISU) to and from the 2010 Olympic venues in Vancouver and Whistler.

“We would never put the bus drivers in harm’s way,” said RCMP Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre.

It’s all about understanding what it might look like when a tactical team fully dressed and prepared for action starts to load onto a bus.

“But you want to make sure the driver is comfortable and fully understanding what these people are going to have to do if they do get called out,” he said.

“If the tactical team is called out usually the anxiety level is high for everyone.”

The request for proposal is posted on the B.C. government’s 2010 Commerce Centre website.

The RCMP will train the drivers for tactical response but the training has to be paid for by the motor carrier.

The company chosen will also have to provide a major event dispatching/transportation controller who will be embedded with the ISU team.

In all 40 buses will be needed from Jan. 8 to March 29 in the Olympic year. They must have DVD and CD capability, television monitors and, at minimum, a two-way radio system. And they must have a good heating system.

The bus company, along with providing venue shuttle services, will also have to bring the officers from all over B.C. and Alberta to the 2010 Winter Games.

Along with this RFP the RCMP is also looking via the Commerce website for housing for its Olympic officers in the Sea to Sky corridor. It’s the second request for accommodation, reflecting how difficult it is to find housing in the corridor for the Games.

“This has always been an obvious priority and a concern right from the get-go given the amount of personnel and the pressure on other organizations for rooms,” said Lemaitre.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games is working to secure about 5,000 rooms in the resort for Olympic sponsors, family members and the media.

The RFP does not say how many beds are needed for officers; however, it states that the busiest period will be from Feb. 9 to Feb. 28.

And Lemaitre would only say when asked how many officers will be in the corridor at Games time: “If you are a criminal and you had any notion of committing a crime in the time period of the Olympics you wouldn’t be the smartest criminal, considering how many policemen will be in the area.”

The RCMP will be looking at all types of accommodation, including bed and breakfasts and double occupancy rooms. The accommodation must have a full bathroom for two occupants and a full bath plus powder room if there are three people. Full-size bunk beds are okay, but hide-a-beds are not.

Rooms also need to have a colour television, clock radio, a desk and chairs, reading lamps and dressers.

If RCMP officers are staying in a hotel it’s expected they will receive normal cleaning services.

Condominium units with self contained washer and dryer units must provide weekly cleaning and towel/linen changes. Condominium units without a self-contained washer/dryers must provide daily towel changes, and weekly cleaning and linen services.

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