Is the Phoenix Open Too Much of a Drain on Public Resources?

The WM Phoenix Open recently made headlines around the world as the golf tournament known for a touch of rowdiness and bacchanalia went overboard this year. While the overboard partying that this year was known for is difficult to quantify, we did recently hear of a piece of data that has us rethinking the Open in a very real way.


What’s 400? It’s the number of law enforcement officers that were deployed to the event this year. 400 police officers to manage a golf tournament. Granted, they were taken from around the area, so it was not purely a drain on Scottsdale’s resources, but frankly, we were taken aback by that number. In isolation it doesn’t tell us too much however, so we wanted to give it some added context.

So how big is that number? Well, it’s equal to the entire number of full-time law enforcement officers in the Scottsdale Police Department. The city of Phoenix has around 2,775 police officers, so that 400 number represents over 14% of the entire Phoenix force. The city of Tempe employs 338 officers, so their entire force wouldn’t be enough to work the event. Lastly, we took a look at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and found that there are 300 uniformed deputies in the department.

Even when using these comparables, 400 seems like quite an imposing number, and yet it didn’t seem to be enough to prevent or properly quell issues at this year’s event.

So then the question becomes…should there be more? Can our area support a significant increase in officers without leaving blind spots elsewhere in the Valley and laying the groundwork for more crime? Is 400 an indicator that the event has simply gotten out of hand and should be scaled down or much more tightly regulated? If 400 cops weren’t enough of a deterrent, what number would be?

There are no easy answers here, but the one conclusion that most sober minds have come to is that something needs to change.

What do you think? Does there need to be more officers? Does the event need to be scaled back and tightened up? Or do you think it was the right amount of law enforcement presence? Comment and give us your thoughts