No deputies, but plenty of officers patrolling party at Carolina - - Columbia, South Carolina |

No deputies, but plenty of officers patrolling party at Carolina Cup

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Source: Carolina Cup Source: Carolina Cup

Close to 70,000 fans are expected to turn out for Saturday's 81st Annual Carolina Cup.

After hundreds of arrests last year and problems with alcohol, the City of Camden said it's ready. The city set aside up to $25,000 dollars to pay for police officers' overtime, and they're putting more officers on the ground.

Fighting, underage drinking, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct are just some of the offenses that law enforcement say happen every year at the Carolina Cup. But organizers say that doesn't exemplify what the Carolina Cup is about.  

Camden Police say the offenses usually happens in the College Park section where the focus isn't on the Thoroughbred horses and their jockeys.

"A certain percentage of our attendees make some poor choices and those will always be our major challenges," said Camden Police Chief Joseph Floyd. 

This year Chief Floyd said there will be a bigger law enforcement presence: 135 officers from 17 agencies across the state will be on duty, with a bulk of them concentrated in College Park.

Floyd said most of the officers have specialized alcohol enforcement training.

"Some of them are there to deal with security issues and some of them are there to deal with alcohol violations," said Floyd. "People who deal with alcohol violations are generally undercover."

Floyd said he hopes the increased presence will cut down on arrests.

Last year Kershaw County Sheriff's deputies, along with SLED and USC Police arrested 225 people from College Park, mostly for alcohol violations.

This year, Kershaw County deputies will not be inside The Cup.

"It's not because we felt we would be better used outside," said Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews. "It was because we were told our services would not be needed. We said, 'Fine. We'll have officers outside to handle the drunk drivers.'"

Floyd said the security and enforcement is covered by the other agencies but Kershaw County deputies will still be critical for the outside enforcement.

"It's a win-win all the way around for this year," said Floyd. "Being something we've not done in the past that is going to make not just the event but the coming and going to the event safer than its ever been."

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