The Marana Police Department knows the enormous size of the 2009 World Golf Championships Accenture Match Play Championships.
After all, MPD has handled security for the 2007 and 2008 tourneys.
For the first two years, “we were still putting things together,” said Marana Police Sgt. Tim Brunenkant.
“But we’ve got two years under our belt, and we are very well-prepared.”
The behemoth weeklong match at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain is expected draw an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 spectators who’ll watch the world’s top 64 players. Marana is in charge of security for the event, and it is dedicating dozens of officers and local volunteers to the tournament.
On top of the event’s sheer size, the town is grappling to secure the new Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, Brunenkant said.
He said that, while the course’s specialized layout is a “curve ball” to security, Marana is experienced enough to provide outstanding service on what he calls “a more user-friendly, viewable, walk-able course.”
From Feb. 23 to March 1, about 30 Marana police officers will be buzzing around the premises, doing everything from watching cars to keeping spectators in their designated spaces.
The officers are working with numerous parking volunteers who will shuttle the spectators to and from a massive parking lot one-half mile east of Interstate 10 off of Tangerine Road, and man the other VIP and special event lots, Brunenkant said.
In addition, the police will make sure distracting cell phones are not on the premises, along with firearms and alcohol.
The Marana Police Department is enlisting the help of the FBI, which will act as special security for the tournament’s players. The police department is also working with Ritz-Carlton and tournament security, and the nearby town of Oro Valley, to blanket the event in as much security as possible “without taking officers or forces away from the people of Marana,” Sgt. Brunenkant said.
“We are excited for the opportunity to provide security and I know it will be a successful event.”