• October 3, 2023

A look at who patrols the annual Masters Tournament, traffic around the event

While the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club is tight-lipped about security on its grounds and surrounding the course during the annual Masters Tournament, officials say policing for the event has recently become more localized.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, which patrols Augusta, is the main law enforcement agency policing The Masters, according to John Ussery, assistant director of the City of Augusta Traffic Engineering Division.

“In the past it’s been all sorts of agencies, but lately, it’s mostly Richmond County and they will occasionally bring in some deputies from Columbia County,” said Ussery. “All of the major intersections in our county are staffed by Richmond County deputies because they are very familiar with the road system and how traffic is supposed to work at those locations.”

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Ussery said the county once brought deputies over from Burke County and Georgia State Patrol to help with the tournament.

“Over the last few years, I’ve observed that they’ve gotten away from that and now they’re just mostly using deputies that are familiar with the area,” he said.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they will have 15 to 20 deputies working the 2023 Masters Tournament.

“We have been assisting with The Masters for over 10 years,” said Maj. Steve Morris with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. “[Richmond County has] a certain number of areas to cover and they reach out to local law enforcement for assistance. We are one of several agencies who work areas as needed.”

Officials with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said private security also helps to patrol the tournament, but would not confirm how many deputies they have working.

Although located just over the South Carolina-Georgia border, the North Augusta Department of Public Safety also helps patrol traffic and Masters-related events in the CSRA.

“As far as traffic goes, we monitor the traffic flows throughout the city and take actions whenever they are necessary to ensure traffic is flowing smoothly,” said Junior Johnson, a spokesman for North Augusta Public Safety. “During that week, there are multiple venues throughout the city that ask for officers to work as they are hosting events.”

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