News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, April 2, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Thousands of people will be rolling into the Garden City in a few days for Masters Week. With so much traffic and so many new faces in town, law enforcement has to be prepared for anything.
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has a "master plan" for Masters week that tells them what to do for just about any scenario.
"It is the 'master' Masters plan," Capt. Scott Gay said.
And he says it's no small task.
"It's a year-long process of planning and meeting with consultants," he said.
With thousands of patrons preparing to flood the Garden City, even the largest law enforcement agency in the state has to call in backup for Masters Week.
"We use a lot of outside agencies. We use the Board of Education, we use the Sheriff's Office out of Columbia County, we use the state patrol, and we use some other small agencies as well."
All coordinating, preparing to handle anything that may come up, from traffic problems to scalpers and much bigger security risks.
"Focusing on any known threats that we might have. We get a report from the FBI," he said.
Different training throughout the year like active shooter training prepares them for worst-case scenarios.
"This is a world event and when the eyes of the world are on one location, we have to take everything at face value," Gay said.
But even though deputies have plans and contingency plans for just about every scenario you can think of, Masters Week is typically less about crime fighting and more about crowd control.
"We see the crime levels typically go down that week," he said.
They say they hope that trend continues to keep patrons flocking back to see golf's greatest event.
"Foremost is protecting the citizens of Augusta-Richmond County and the guests that come to see the Augusta National," he said.