France 'won't rule out' using army to reinforce security at Paris Olympics

AP - Lewis Joly

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said he could not exclude bringing in the army to ensure security at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Questioned in the Senate Tuesday evening, Darmanin – who is the head of police – spoke of the problems organisers were experiencing in recruiting the 22,000 private agents needed to secure the Games.

He also said there were issues in finding accommodation for both public and private security forces, adding that the situation would become clearer in the coming months.

"If, at the end of the day, there are a number of people missing we will look at what we can do – but we believe that a large country like France is capable of responding to this issue of private security," Darmanin said.

Recuitment headache

The government would know more next month at the earliest, he said, when the Paris 2024 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (COJOP 2024) sorted out which security applicants met the recruitment criteria.

So far between 11,000 and 12,000 agents were suitable.

A lot will depend of technological provisions, such as the possibility of using body scanners, Darmanin said.

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