(Bloomberg) — New York City is seeking reimbursement for the ongoing costs of guarding President Donald Trump and his family at their midtown Manhattan residence.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill placed the cost for protection and crowd control at $25.7 million for the 75 days between Election Day and Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, down from $35 million Mayor Bill de Blasio had estimated. Such expenses may run more than $50 million a year, O’Neill said in a Feb. 21 letter to the city’s 19 U.S. representatives and U.S. senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Heavily armed police have had a full-time presence outside the 58-story Trump Tower since the then-real estate mogul became the Republican nominee in July. It intensified when he was elected Nov. 8, with unmarked cars and plainclothes officers. The security at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, one of the busiest intersections in the city, has constricted traffic and affected sales at luxury retailers such as Tiffany & Co., Gucci and Prada.
“The NYPD now serves a dual role in protecting the First Family and securing Trump Tower while simultaneously acting as a municipal police department,” O’Neill wrote. “Trump Tower itself now presents a target to those who wish to commit acts of terror against our country.”
In designating O’Neill as the city’s representative to Congress, de Blasio, who faces re-election this year, reduced the risk of being the target of political backlash, after the mayor has criticized Republican lawmakers on issues such as tax cuts for the wealthy, repeal of universal health insurance and immigration. In December, congressional Republicans rebuffed de Blasio’s initial request for $35 million with a proposed spending plan that included just $7 million.
The police commissioner explained the city was able to reduce that $35 million expense estimate “after an extensive analysis of payrolls, overtime sheets, and over 25,000 individual patrol log entries,” which brought the average daily rate to about $308,000, not the $500,000 he had earlier anticipated.
In the future, city officials expect to pay between $127,000 to $146,000 a day for police to guard the First Lady and her son in Trump Tower, plus $4.5 million a year in fire department protection. Costs will increase to about $308,000 a day during presidential visits, O’Neill said.
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