The Edmond Sun

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May 30, 2014

U. S. Senior Open security plan 2.5 years in the making Event kicks off July 7 at Oak Tree National

EDMOND — More than 140,000 spectators are expected to attend to the U.S. Senior Open July 7-13 at Edmond’s Oak Tree National.

Additionally, the site will host 156 professional and amateur golfers, event staff, volunteers and media organizations. A sizable law enforcement presence including personnel from the Edmond Police Department, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Oklahoma Highway Patrol will be in the area as well.

Plans are in the works to ensure they all arrive and leave safely, said Police Maj. Tim Dorsey, the Edmond Police Department’s deputy chief of police.

United States Golf Association Championship Director Jeff Ewing said planning regarding traffic and security issues began two and a half years ago with city and other relevant personnel. They include various City of Edmond personnel.

“This truly is a joint operation,” Ewing said.

Ewing had high praise for local officials, calling their efforts one of the most impressive he’s seen during his 13-year tournament-related career.

Dorsey said last year the USGA sent him to the site of the 2013 U.S. Senior Open in Omaha, Neb. He met with counterparts there and they talked about what worked and lessons learned.

Another plus for Edmond is having personnel, including himself, who experienced the 2006 Senior PGA Championship at Oak Tree, Dorsey said.

“We didn’t have too many problems there like traffic,” he said. “I think we had a pretty good plan in place.”

If public intoxication, for example, becomes an issue, the Police Department will deal with them, Dorsey said.

Dorsey said the city will share some of the personnel-related costs with the USGA. Some Edmond officers will be staffed as part of their normal duty assignment. If additional personnel are needed, the USGA will pick up the tab, Dorsey said.

“We can’t donate 60 officers a day for eight hours each,” Dorsey said.

Having state troopers and county deputies will help take some of the staffing burden off the Police Department, Dorsey said. During the event, the Police Department will not sacrifice enforcement efforts elsewhere, he said.

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