PGA asks city officials to cover $100K in security fees from Tulsa police after championship
The PGA of America is asking city officials to cover part of a $225,000 bill from the Tulsa Police Department after the national golf tournament at the Southern Hills Country Club in May.
Tulsa city councilors met last Wednesday to decide whether or not to waive $100,000 in security fees.
Some councilors, like Phil Lakin and Jayme Fowler, said losing out on $100,000 doesn't compare to the nearly $6 million the city made in tax dollars.
Other councilors say they're concerned that waiving the fee will set a precedent that the city will pick up the cost of security at all events.
Councilor Kara Joy McKee said it would be a "real black eye" for the city if officials waived the PGA's fees after denying similar requests from local nonprofit organizations.
"If the public is watching and paying attention and we are giving a break to golf, when there have been so many small organizations that have asked us to help out with funding," McKee said. "This will just be a real black eye for us, guys."
McKee said she doesn't believe the council should be spending tax dollars on this, and that paying for event security is just part of the cost of doing business.
The city councilor also said that money could be used for other initiatives in Tulsa such as working to end homelessness, replacing the city's broken fire trucks, and building a better animal shelter.
Tulsa Police Communications Officer Danny Bean said while he doesn't want to point fingers, he believes some of the issues were caused by a lack of scheduling and budgeting on the PGA's part.
"It's $50 an hour — 3 hours minimum," Bean explained. "I mean, we gave them the numbers of what the overtime and part time pay would be for officers to be out there."
The police department's bill totals up to around $225,000 while Bean said PGA officials only budgeted $110,000.
Bean said events like these are usually budgeted and scheduled at least three years in advance.
The 2022 Championship was to originally be played at Donald Trump's golf club, but the organization cut ties with the former president after the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.