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Jul 30 2012

Johns Island Concerned Citizens Meeting – July 16, 2012

Staff Report

Captain Thomas Robertson and Captain James Woods of the Charleston County Sheriffs Department addressed the Concerned Citizens of the Sea Islands at the July 16 meeting regarding upcoming PGA tournament traffic plans.

Captain Robertson stated that the Sheriffs Department has put together a detailed and comprehensive plan to deal with traffic coming on and off the island. Robertson hopes that his 36 years experience will enhance the effectiveness of already instated plans to deal with traffic issues. “The whole plan was written with the residents in mind,” Robertson stated. “When the PGA is gone, we are still going to be here and y’all are still going to be here. We are here for y’all and want as little impact to the residents of Johns and Wadmalaw Islands.” Captain Robertson outlined eight major objectives that Charleston County Sheriffs Department seeks to address during the tournament:

  • Life safety
  • Effective coordination to incident activities
  • Collection of real time information and intelligence to support Incident Action Plan
  • Provide effective parking and crowd maintenance
  • Provide additional traffic support
  • Ensure property safety
  • Little impact to residents as possible

Captain Woods, with a history of 34 years experience, stated that everyone involved with the PGA traffic plans has extensive law enforcement experience dealing mainly with traffic issues. “We are going to be able to respond to incidents that occur very quickly, and clear them,” Captain Woods stated. “Two key elements exist: being able to respond, and being able to clear.”

The Department of Transportation will provide electronic signage on all roads leading to and from Kiawah Island during the PGA. The signage will be used to alert all traffic coming to the island and leaving the island of any roadway issues that may affect their transportation. Air Support Units will alert ground control immediately of any traffic problems causing congestion, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will be patrolling local waters to address any issues with boat traffic or problems. “As for EMS,” Captain Woods stated, “there will be sufficient medical equipment to handle whatever may come up.” One motor officer and one EMS will respond to any accidents and other resources will come in if necessary.

CCSD will provide traffic direction and control at the following intersections on Johns Island:

  • Savannah Highway and Main Road
  • Main Road and River Road
  • Maybank Highway and River Road
  • Maybank Highway and Main Road
  • River Road and Bohicket Road
  • Betsy Kerrison and Kiawah Island Parkway Traffic Circle

Captain Woods stated that the anticipated rush times will occur between 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. “Morning traffic will be inbound,” Woods commented. “I would look at about an hour, and hour and a half delay.” Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday will be lighter days for traffic.

Our number one priority is to get y’all where you need to be,” Woods said. “What we do during the tournament as professionals will be judged by you all in years to come. We want a favorable report.”

Councilman Joe Qualey addressed the meeting upon closing. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in the sheriff and in this team,” Qualey stated. “It is a huge event and it is going to take some patience, but I think it’s going to be fine.”

CCSD has provided the following numbers for citizens to contact with questions and concerns:

Command and Control

Major Oliver Puckett – Incident Commander



Captain Thomas Robertson – Operations Section Commander



Public Information Officer

Captain James Woods

745-2594 (work)

693-3841 (cell)


Major James Brody

554-2442 (work)

696-3312 (cell)


Chief John Clark

554-2444 (office)

737-2377 (cell)


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