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OTHER UTAHNS ARE GEORGIA-BOUND

Every community that's hosting competitions during the 2002 Winter Games is sending law enforcement officials to check out Atlanta's security for this summer's Olympics.

Except the host city.That's the final word, despite the feelings of the Salt Lake police chief.

Chief Ruben Ortega said although he feels it's imparitive the city send officers to observe an Olympic security effort firsthand, he won't be able to do that.

Originally, he planned to send two officers to Atlanta shortly before the Summer Games began and have them stay until the Games ended. Four others, including himself, were to attend a portion of the games. The department had estimated the cost to do that at around $20,000, said Assistant Chief Larry Stott.

Ortega thought he could find the money within his budget, but city officials told him even if he did, he couldn't use it.

Now, with the Olympics just two months away, even if the city changes its collective mind and comes up with the money to send officers, it will probably be too late, Ortega said.

Salt Lake police officers gave up the much cheaper beds they'd reserved at the Georgia State police barracks.

Other Utah police officers will attend and work during the Atlanta Games, but all will be from other agencies with an Olympic venue in their jurisdiction.

Most are sending at least two people to the Games at varying costs. Some agencies aren't even sure yet how much their trips will end up costing because they are still deciding how many people to send.

Park City, which has two Olympic venues within its city limits, will send three police officers, two of whom will stay the entire time. Police Chief Frank Bell said the cost of sending himself and two officers isn't finalized yet and will be included with the cost of sending other city personnel. He believes the cost to Park City taxpayers for sending everyone (including non-police representatives) will be under $5,000.

The University of Utah Police Department will send two officers to work in Atlanta for the entire run of the Olympic Games. The department doesn't have a cost estimate yet.

The Utah officers who attend the entire 16 days will stay in the Georgia Department of Public Safety's barracks. They will be working alongside Atlanta officers.

West Valley City, which will host hockey and short track speed skating in the city's new arena, is sending two people for the entire time at an estimated cost of $7,000.

The Utah Highway Patrol, the only state law enforcement agency involved, is sending five administrators who will stay three or four days each and four officers who will stay all 16 days.

Commissioner of Public Safety Doug Bodrero will also go for a portion of the Games, but his trip is being funded by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Though they are sending the most people, the department's cost estimates are the cheapest. UHP spokesman Verdi White II said the costs will be around $6,862.

Ortega could go at the expense of the SLOC because he and Bodrero are co-chairmen of the Olympic Security Committee. He said earlier that he didn't feel right about accepting the offer when other agency heads would have to pay for the trip themselves.

Ortega said his department may be at a disadvantage in preparing for the 2002 Winter Olympics but hopes it can get by using the experience of other officer sent by Utah police agencies.

In addition to using the experiences of other officers, Ortega said his officers will rely on a report written after the Olympics by security personnel.