City to Call on Congress to Pick up Trump Security Check

Bill De Blasio, City Hall, Trump Security Bill

(Courtesy of Kevin Case)

The mayor’s office and the NYPD are working out budget estimates to request additional reimbursement from the federal government to cover the cost of protecting the president’s assets and family post inauguration, according to Austin Finan, deputy press secretary to the mayor.

“We will seek reimbursement moving forward since the inauguration,” he said. “We’re asking for additional reimbursement to keep President Trump and his family safe moving forward. Those costs are still being worked out.”

This is on top of the $7 million dollars already approved by Congress on Dec. 6 to cover the cost of protecting Trump’s assets and family in New York City between election day and inauguration. The approved funds of $7 million, however, have yet to be received by the city, according to city officials. “Reimbursement is a long process,” said Freddi Goldstein, deputy press secretary to the mayor.

The funds granted fell well short of the $37 million requested by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Dec. 5 to cover expenses during this period. However, the city is still trying to recoup the other $30 million from Congress to cover security costs.

“We are working with Congress to receive the rest of the funding we requested so that we will receive the full amount that was required of us to provide security for President Trump and his family,” said Goldstein.

Deputy Commissioner of Management and Budget Vincent Grippo on Jan. 10 estimated that Trump’s security cost the city nearly $500,000 dollars a day between election day and the inauguration, with the total amount estimated at $37.4 million at a hearing before the City Council Committee for Economic Development. He said the numbers were calculated by including the cost of officers assigned to protect Trump and his assets: full time salaries, fringe benefits and overtime pay. Maria Doulis of the Citizens Budget Commission, a nonpartisan civic think tank, estimates that the police force’s overtime spending is about $585 million in total out of a fiscal budget of $5.4 billion.

Another factor adding to police overtime costs are the wave of anti-Trump protests in the city, which have become more frequent over the last few weeks. Upon a request by NYCity Lens, a police department spokesman said he could not provide more precise estimates of how much the extra protest security cost the city.

“As a general rule, we do not have specific cost breakdowns for every protest that occurs in the city,” said Peter Donald, assistant commissioner for communication and public information at the NYPD. “We don’t regularly determine those costs.”

Earlier this month on Feb. 6, at a press conference with the mayor on crime statistics, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the city would need to ask the federal government for more long term investment to protect the president’s assets in New York, but he added that it would be unlikely that the NYPD would ask for specific additional funds to tackle protests. “Demonstrations are something that comes around a lot for the NYPD and we do it well and so I don’t think that’s something we’d be looking for reimbursement,” he said.

NYCity Lens also asked the mayor’s office to provide specifics on how many more officers were required to be on duty to protect Trump Tower during protests as well as the total number of officers being used to protect the president’s family and assets in the city.

“[The] NYPD does not have a precedent for making public the number of officers deployed for any situation,” said Deputy Press Secretary Finan in response. “Unsurprisingly, there are security concerns with releasing information of this nature.”

Previously, at a city hearing on Jan. 10, Daniel R Garodnick, councilman for the 4th District of New York, also asked the NYPD about the costs to the city for Trump’s New York security detail. He wanted to know about police numbers, deployments and the effect on policing numbers in other boroughs.

“Out of security concerns, we cannot provide specific deployment figures,”  NYPD Deputy Chief James Kehoe replied.