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A ‘good day’ at the cup
‘Lowest arrest numbers in my 21 years,’ says CPD chief
Storm Team (W).jpg
Storm Front and jockey Jack Doyle crash through the final fence en route to their victory in Saturday’s $35,000 The Springdale, the fourth race on the Carolina Cup. From a law enforcement angle, Camden Police Chief Joe Floyd and Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan said this year's event had the fewest arrests either could remember from the last 20 year or more. - photo by Tom Didato/C-I

The difference is all in the numbers.

During past runnings of the Carolina Cup, the Camden Police Department (CPD) would issue between 125 and 150 summonses on a variety of charges. Officers would arrest between 20 and 25 people, actually taking them to jail.

Saturday, with College Park transformed into The Meadows, and with the Colonial Cup no longer offered in the fall, attendance was up, but tickets and arrests were down.

“We only arrested five people for a total of nine charges, and there were no drug charges made on the grounds,” CPD Chief Joe Floyd said Monday morning. “Most of the charges that were made in the past were for underage drinking. This year, I think SLED (the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division) only made three. These are the lowest numbers I’ve seen in my 21 years.”

As the lead agency for Cup security, with large assists from the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) and S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP), Floyd said overall numbers for tickets and warnings were far below past years.

“All three agencies only made one DUI arrest each outside the Cup,” Floyd noted as an example.

He said SCHP troopers issued a total of 68 tickets, 30 of those for seatbelt violations, and issued 100 warnings. Troopers also worked four accidents, Floyd said.

He said KCSO deputies issued 23 tickets and 36 warnings.

Like Floyd, Sheriff Lee Boan -- who has worked the Cup as a deputy, police officer and SLED agent -- said he would not be surprised if the number of law enforcement actions at and surrounding the Cup were the lowest the county’s ever had. Boan remembered at least one time when the total number of arrests across all agencies topped 100.

“It was very uneventful from a law enforcement perspective,” Boan said. “The crowd was well behaved. Everybody was having fun -- that’s the kind of folks we want out there and coming back.”

By that, Boan said he was noting the difference between College Park and The Meadows, which are actually the same place, but being handled differently this year.

“There were no buses out there,” Boan said, referring to scores of students who would fill up College Park.

Boan noted that in years past, a number of people would ask if they could leave their vehicles at Springdale so they would not be driving home drunk.

“We had more people come up to us asking if they could do that this year,” he said.

Boan was also pleased that Kershaw County Council approved a particular request this year.

“Saturday was the first time that deputies got paid time and a half for the overtime to work at the Cup,” Boan said. “Council was very happy to see us out there and we were very happy to be there.”

Boan said while deputies and officers paired up, he and Floyd rode around the Cup grounds together several times. That gave them a chance to see, first-hand, the difference between what things were like Saturday compared to when The Meadows was College Park.

“The Meadows brought a whole different group of people,” Floyd said. “It was completely filled, and we had security out there, but most of our officers came back into the infield looking for something to do.”

Floyd said that was a testament to the fact that, The Meadows included, the entire event was attended by people who in his estimation behaved well while having a good time.

“These (enforcement) numbers are more similar to what we experienced just on the infield in past years,” he said.

Those numbers included only two people taken to the medical tent to be treated for alcohol-related issues, Floyd reported, with a few others for other medical conditions.

Floyd’s summarization of the day: “It was very orderly; we’re happy with it.”