Video by Andriy Semenyuk
During the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the eyes of federal, local and state agencies were vigilantly focused on the Canadian border from a former warehouse near the Bellingham International Airport. What most people don’t know is that the warehouse was outfitted with state-of-the-art technology by Bellingham-based Audio Visual Excellence.
Throughout the Olympics, the Olympics Coordination Center has given representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol a single place to coordinate their surveillance and security efforts in the event of a disaster or terrorist attack during the international games.
The model has been so successful that Washington’s elected leadership has approved the center to remain active even after the Olympics.
“At a time when we know terrorists are looking for weak links, the coordination center has been a successful model for bringing law enforcement agencies together,” Washington state Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen wrote in a letter to Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano.
As the games come to a close, The Bellingham Business Journal took this opportunity to take a peek inside the center and to chat with a Bellingham business arming federal, state and local law enforcement with the tools they need to keep the border protected.