Thurston County Sheriff’s office to help at U.S. Open, Pierce County will pay

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office will help provide law enforcement services June 15-21 for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.

The Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted 3-0 to approve a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday.

In the agreement, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department will reimburse Thurston County “up to $72 per hour” for overtime worked at the U.S. Open or overtime incurred to backfill personnel assigned to the event.

“We definitely can not do it alone, and we need help from surrounding agencies,” said Capt. Scott Mielcarek with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. “(Thurston County deputies) have supported us in other events, so we have a long history of working together, and we’re glad they’re able to help out.”

Law enforcement will be on site 24 hours a day during the tournament. About 450 uniformed law enforcement officers per day will be assigned to cover all shifts at the course, as well as traffic positions related to the event, according to background materials provided to the county commissioners.

“It’s a very large event, and it’s one of the few events that’s on the world stage,” Mielcarek said. “It’s going to be seen all over the world, and we want the Northwest to be well represented and everyone be proud of the event.”

Thurston County Undersheriff Tim Braniff said his department plans to send nine deputies to help work at the U.S. Open. In addition, the agreement will help pay for one deputy to help cover local shifts that are affected, he said.

“The actual prediction is 650 hours of time,” Braniff said. “…Total expected reimbursement is $46,800.”

The agreement states that deputies will not be allowed to request autographs, take photos of players, caddies or their families or golf activity or share any photos taken on Chambers Creek Properties with the news media or any electronic website, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

It also states that Pierce County Sheriff’s Department will:

• Provide housing at Pacific Lutheran University for those who live outside of Pierce County.

• Reimburse deputies who are housed for two meals a day at government rates of $10 breakfast, $15 lunch and $31 dinner.

• Be responsible for any and all costs related to an event that requires deputies to provide court testimony, depositions or other activities at a later date.