AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -Flashing lights, K9 units. checkpoints. Signs of all the state and federal agencies working to assist the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office throughout Masters Week.
Traffic is a huge concern for law enforcement. Some people are shocked to see the level of security.
“A very obviously displayed M16, which surprised me. I would think that we would not need anything like that here but I appreciate the precaution,” said Joe Tart, attending the Masters for the third time.
It’s part of a multi-agency effort by law enforcement to keep Masters tournament patrons safe.
Cleveland, Ohio mother and daughter Meg and Linda Sheehan said they see the police presence but it isn’t overwhelming. Linda Sheehan said she’s never felt unsafe in the 20 years she’s visited Augusta National for Masters.
“Everything’s beautiful and they’re constantly updating and upgrading and making things even better," said Meg Sheehan.
Including security. Statistics show crimes are more likely to happen during large events like Masters.
“There are opportunities for such criminal activity off that campus out in the community in the suburbs and other places, we are active," explained United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Bobby Christine.
The U.S. Attorney said checked on federal operations at Augusta National Thursday. He said there are layers of sophistication to integrate the physical presence of law enforcement and technology.
“Thoughtful, meaningful sort of operation but leverages technology at every turn so it’s not to make the presence overbearing,” said Christine.
He said it’s taken decades for everything to evolve into the first-class operation it is today. The U.S. Attorney’s Office prepares year round to keep it that way.
Last year during Masters week, The Richmond County Sheriff’s department logged 34 incidents that ranged from vehicle larceny, theft and burglary.
Only two of those cases happened in the same area as Augusta National.