Oak Hill Country Club is preparing to host the PGA Championship starting May 15, which means the Rochester community will host thousands of people from across New York State and the United States
There are only a few weeks until the best of the best in the world of golf arrives at Oak Hill in Pittsford. Final touches take place on the field and behind the scenes with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’ve spent a lot of time and effort planning the security aspect of this,” said Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Lt. Andrew Soike. He says this is an all-hands-on-deck operation.
“So we’re working very closely with PGA security to integrate our security plan with their staff security that they employ,” Soike said. “So it’s a lot of planning and coordination. We will have a very visible presence on the pitch with uniformed troops and deputies who have specific posts on the pitch.”
There will also be law enforcement that will not be visible to the public. And some will be awarded to the players themselves.
The sheriff’s office is changing its schedule with deputies working 12-hour shifts.
“So that’s how we’re staffing it within the sheriff’s office, and I think the state police are pulling in the resources from around the state to help as well,” Soike said.
There are also some new safety tactics since the PGA Championship was last at Oak Hill 10 years ago
“So we’re using drones a lot more to support our security plan than we’ve ever done before, and that’s a brand new thing,” Soike said.
It is estimated that around 200,000 people will come to the golf course and country club.
“We are prepared for any kind of incident,” Soike said. “We have thought through everything from someone who is lost all the way up to an active shooter. We’ve thought it through and we’re planning it all. There is also some additional training underway to support these efforts. We have the resources to handle pretty much any contingency you can think of.”
The law enforcement security plan for the PGA Championship is a year in the making with final adjustments in the final weeks before the pros and fans arrive.
“We’re excited to be a part of this,” Soike said. “It’s been a big challenge, but it’s something where we can get involved and get out into the community and support what a great event it is.”