Battleground State Woe: Candidate Security Costs

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Michigan’s cities have paid an estimated $250,000 so far, mostly in police overtime, for protecting presidential candidates or their emissaries during their campaign stops in the state, reports the Detroit News. The trips have cost Michigan communities more than a quarter of a million dollars in the past year, and the cost will rise during the 11 weeks left in the campaign. Even the shortest visit strains the finances of local, county,m and state police because their budgets are so lean. a survey of 11 municipalities shows the cost of appearances by President Bush, for example, have ranged from $5,000 in Bloomfield Hills, Mi., last month to $57,000 in Denver in June. Bush, Sen. John Kerry, their running mates and wives have come to Michigan 24 times in the past year.

The federal government and political parties routinely don't compensate cities for their work, which includes erecting barricades, directing traffic and providing security at the events. Candidates' motorcades of black SUVs are tended by a retinue of local paramedics, public works employees, and police on the local, county and state level. Many are working overtime. Community leaders like the fact that the presidential candidates and their associates pay attention to their towns. They're just not sure they can afford it. “Every time the Secret Service says we need to have people there, we have to divvy it up between local agencies,” said Sgt. Larry Crider of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office. “I can imagine the headache Davenport had when they were visited by two at the same time.” Three Davenport banks were robbed that day.

Link: http://www.detnews.com/2004/politics/0408/17/a01-244682.htm

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