Chicago may have found a solution to the problem of paying for extra security during a terror alert: bill the federal government. The Chicago Sun-Times says the city has asked the U.S. Homeland Security Department to cover the $3 million cost of protecting Chicago during the 31-day orange alert that extended through the Iraq war. Now, meter has started to run on a new alert at a rate of $91,000 a day.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge offered to cover legitimate expenses while in Chicago last week to oversee an elaborate drill that tested the city’s response to mock terrorists.
Most of the costs, about $91,000 a day for 31 days, are for police overtime. “This is a requirement. We’ve ratcheted up this alert because they said so. We can’t go from alert to alert and expect the local governments to bear the costs of that. That’s not reasonable,” said Cortez Trotter of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication.