Trump’s Florida visits costing sheriff $1.5M in OT
West Palm Beach, Fla. — The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department has racked up $1.5 million in overtime costs while assisting the Secret Service since President Donald Trump was elected in November.
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said he is confident the money will be reimbursed by the federal government.
“I do hope he is correct,” said Palm Beach County Administrator Verdenia Baker.
The county sent letters to federal officials in December seeking reimbursement for the overtime security costs from Trump’s five-day visit to his South Florida estate called Mar-a-lago in November, the Palm Beach Post reported Tuesday.
Those costs were originally estimated at $250,000, but Bradshaw said the total will be closer to $300,000. Based on the revised number, the sheriff said told the newspaper the security costs are amounting to about $60,000 a day during Trump’s visits to the county.
Aside from the five days in November, Trump stayed at Mar-a-lago 16 days in December. He has returned for two weekends so far in February.
The sheriff’s presidential detail is covered by overtime and doesn’t compromise law enforcement for the rest of the county.
“We don’t take anybody off the road that handles normal calls for service,” Bradshaw said. “I’m very confident that we’re going to get reimbursed. There’ll be a point in time where I’ll have a conversation, I hope, with the president personally or with someone high up in his administration.”
Baker said the sheriff works closely with the Secret Service and would have a better feel about any reimbursement. “I have not received that type of information from anyone in writing,” Baker said.
Presidential visits aren’t unusual in Palm Beach County as Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all made multiple visits for fundraisers, golf outings and campaign appearances. But they didn’t involve extended stays.
“Obviously we take it very seriously and we’re fortunate we have the experience and the manpower to be able to handle it,” Bradshaw said. “We work seamlessly with the Secret Service because we’ve done it so much.”
In addition to the sheriff’s costs, West Palm Beach Chief Financial Officer Mark Parks estimated city police and fire rescue crews have incurred about $26,000 in overtime costs during Trump’s February visits. The Post reports the town of Palm Beach did not provide estimates for its costs.