Authorities prepare ‘global' security measures for the U.S. Open

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-10 11:15:29-04

This time next week, 40,000 people are expected at Erin Hills for the U.S. Open golf tournament, the largest event the Washington County Sheriff's Department has ever had in their jurisdiction.

The department has been preparing for the past two and half years, yet they're calling for plenty of help.

On Friday, the line to get through security and into the U.S. Open fan area took just a few minutes.

"It was very easy to get through," said William Schulze of West Bend.

Next week, that will be a different story as every single fan will have to go through metal detectors. Schulze said it's worth the wait.

"With everything going on in the world today you have to be very secure," he said.

Before spectators get to the course, state patrol will be watching the roadways.

"It's just the magnitude of the event, really," said Washington County Sheriff’s Captain Martin Schulteis.

Once fans enter tournament grounds, Schulteis said they will notice law enforcement and security sprinkled throughout.

“We're a medium size department, we simply can't do it ourselves so it's really a collaboration between local law enforcement,” he said.

Schulteis said deputies and officers from all over Southeastern Wisconsin will converge to help on the course and around the perimeter.

"It’s kind of a unique venue; it's an open air sporting event which is significantly different than your normal football stadium or arena,” Schulteis said.

They will be joined by state and federal resources as well as 1,200 private security officers wearing red shirts and yellow caps. Schulteis and a team of deputies traveled to last year’s U.S. Open to get a feel for what they’re up against.

"The mere fact that it's a global event, it's broadcast in 140 countries with 40 million people viewing that,” Schulteis said. “It takes more of a global type awareness."

The USGA is actually a little more restrictive than airport security. Cameras, electronic devices bigger than 7 inches, large bags, backpacks and weapons are not allowed.