Unprecedented Security Costs for Protecting Trump, Family

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Protecting Donald Trump and his family will involve unprecedented costs for taxpayers. Local and federal law enforcement officials concede the costs for securing the immediate and extended First Family-elect in target-rich New York City are enormous. Melania Trump’s decision to stay with 10-year-old Barron at the family’s triplex penthouse means the skyscraper will need permanent new fortifications, and plans to protect Trump’s four adult children will force an already short-staffed agency ramp up its ranks, reports Politico. “Operating in Manhattan is expensive, and the fact that the Secret Service has to pay, by law, for office space on protectees’ residences, plane tickets on protectees’ planes, there’s a dollar figure that I don’t think you can really estimate right now,” said Donald Mihalek of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

The biggest variable is how much time Trump himself will actually spend in New York. “Those costs are something that we won’t know until he establishes his travel,” said Bill Pickle, a former deputy assistant director of the Secret Service. “The New York field office is quite large. No one knows how many bodies…would have to go there.” A Secret Service spokeswoman said the 2016 budget for “protecting persons and places” was $871.7 million, which includes visiting foreign leaders. “At this point, we’re still looking at the size of our footprint,” said Secret Service spokeswoman Cathy Milhoan. The agency is negotiating that with Trump’s team, “like it does after every campaign,” she added. “The only difference this time is the President-elect happens to live on Fifth Avenue.” Unnamed city officials said the city is spending a million dollars each day on Trump, a figure yet to be confirmed. Most of those demands will be on the police department, which racks up especially heavy overtime when the president visits the Big Apple.

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