TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. – When an event like the PGA Championship comes to town, a lot goes into making sure it is safe and successful. Fox 2/KPLR 11 was given a behind the scenes look at the tournament’s command post, where a close eye is kept on security cameras, the weather is watched, and traffic patterns monitored.
“It’s challenging, but we have a lot of competent people working on this and they have done a wonderful job of planning events to make sure it's successful and everyone has a great time,” said Tracy Panus, St. Louis County Police Department Office of Emergency Management.
Many organizations are working together at the command center, including the FBI, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County police, the Creve Coeur, Chesterfield, and Town and Country police departments, as well as the National Weather Service, MoDOT, the St. Louis County Health Department, West County EMS, and the Civil Service Commission.
It’s a major undertaking.
“We have a lot of people monitoring this event on a lot of levels for many different things, from weather to possible manmade issues, to traffic issues,” Panus said.
Record-setting crowds have caused traffic headaches, with public parking in Fenton and Westminster, but Panus said they’re doing everything they can, working with MoDOT to get quick messages out to the public.
“It’s one of those things where you have many people in a small area, you're going to have to wait sometimes,” Panus said. “It just happens.”
The command post is set up on the Maryville University Campus. Meaning if there’s an issue, authorities can react quickly. Friday’s lightning delay put more pressure on security and planning, especially when the PGA said this could be the largest attendance for the event.
“They are definitely seeing bigger numbers than normal and that’s great for golfers, spectators, and the PGA,” Panus said.