Police in Rio protested overnight against late payment of salaries and a lack of equipment ranging from car fuel to toilet paper as the Brazilian city prepares to host the Olympic Games.

About 300 police clad in black T-shirts stood on the steps of the Rio de Janeiro state assembly to denounce what they said had been their abandonment ahead of the Olympics, which start on August 5.

"The police's priority is the people, the government's priority is the Olympics," read one banner at a rare public display of anger by a force that finds itself in the midst of both a state budget crisis and a lethal surge in criminal activity.

Visitors arriving this week were greeted at the airport by police and firefighters with a troubling warning. They held a banner in protest that read: "Welcome to Hell. Police and firefighters don't get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe."

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One officer, who like other protesters asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions at work, told AFP he had only been paid half his salary last month and was still waiting for this month's salary.

"I haven't been paid my overtime for five months either," the 40-year-old officer said.
State acting governor for Rio Francisco Dornelles warned on Monday in a newspaper interview that budget shortfalls threaten turning the Olympics into a "big failure".

In terms of security, the state only has funding "until the end of this week", he was quoted as saying by O Globo.

Rio is waiting for a 2.9 billion reai (A$1.15 million) bailout from the federal budget ahead of the Games, with security a priority recipient.

Earlier this month authorities said the "calamity" in state finances could lead to "a collapse in public safety, health, education, transportation and environmental management".

Brazil's economy shrank 3.8 per cent last year, its worst recession in 25 years. The International Monetary Fund and the market are predicting a similar contraction this year.

Meanwhile, crime is on the rise in what is already one of the world's most violent countries. Rio's police, heavily criticised for overuse of deadly force, are themselves taking growing casualties.

So far this year around 50 officers in the state have been killed, while 85 were killed in all of 2015.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes last week went on a PR offensive, insisting the Olympics were not responsible for the state or federal financial debacles.

In an exhaustive presentation before local and international media, Paes insisted the state and federal governments' investment in the Games were minimal, and that the city - which he said had shouldered the lion's share of responsibility for the event - was in good financial health.

Asked what he made of Paes' assertions, Dornelles said, "I'm not a candidate for anything anymore. Therefore, they can throw all the blame my way."

Meanwhile, Paes' office announced Monday that the mayor was in hospital with a kidney stone. Paes has suffered from kidney stones for years, his office said in a statement. It did not provide any details on when Paes is expected to be released.

Dornelles' comments came on the heels of another bloody weekend in Rio, which saw a police officer who had been serving as a bodyguard for Paes and a 34-year-old doctor killed in muggings-gone-wrong.

Officer Denilson Theodoro de Souza, 48, was shot in the northern Rio neighbourhood of Pavuna on Sunday.

A day earlier, Gisele Palhares Gouvea was shot in the head in her car as she entered one of Rio's main expressways on her way to her home in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood.

Asked about Gouvea's slaying, Dornelles responded, "What a disaster. The security crisis is very serious."