Reporting Pat Loeb
Filed underWatch + Listen
By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The U.S. Open has grown exponentially since the last time Haverford Township hosted it, and it was up to township officials to get the community ready for the event.
They’ve been working on it for two years.
Larry Gentile worked the U.S. Open in 1981 as a paramedic.
Now he’s the township manager and responsible for the 40 paramedics working this one.
“Let’s face it; we’re living in a different time.” Gentile says, “you have to prepare for the worst and I can assure you from public safety, we’re very, very prepared.”
Genitle says he figured out how much work it was going to be when he and deputy police chief John Viola went behind the scenes at another major tournament, two years ago.
They’ve been working ever since.
Viola says, “in the past six months, it’s been a full-time job and in the past month, it’s been non-stop.”
Viola says he’s raided police departments in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties, just for traffic control.
There have been special ordinances, community meetings, modifications and back-up plans, but Viola feels ready, “we have everything in place. We feel very confident our plan will work”
Gentile says the stakes are high, “the eyes of not only the nation but I think it’s the world are going to be on Haverford twp.”