(Memphis) There’s more security than ever before at this year’s FedEx St. Jude Classic. Thousands of people are in East Shelby County for this big golf event, and just weeks after the Boston bombing, the tournament director wants to make sure everyone is safe.
There is security all over the place at the golf tournament, from deputies on Segways to K9 units, all looking for possible security threats that can happen at big events.
“The Boston Marathon bombing definitely raised the level of concern,” said Phil Cannon, the FedEx St. Jude Classic tournament director.
That level of concern is apparent this year at the event that draws golfers and fans from around the world.
“Anyone who comes out here is going to see some things they haven`t seen before, like bomb dogs and the sheriff`s department command post,” said Cannon.
Just like the Boston Marathon, the tournament is without metal detectors for spectators, so it’s up to law enforcement to keep their eyes on the crowd. Segways and golf carts help deputies make their rounds.
Also, the FBI and Memphis police have undercover agents and officers walking around. Some years, they say, even aggressive golf fans have been a problem when demanding autographs from the athletes.
“You never know maybe someone has had too much to drink,” Shelby County Sheriff Department Spokesman Chip Washington said.
Washington says extra patrols are in the Southwind golf course parking lot as well.
“These days, criminals can break into cars in literally seconds,” he said.
He’s reminding visitors at the tournament to do their part by locking their car doors and keeping valuables out of sight.
The tournament director says while they are on top of security, the biggest threat to people is actually the hot weather and they are encouraging people to drink lots of water.