Trump in Palm Beach: Sheriff’s OT bill for feds $3.3 million and growing

President Donald Trump greets motorcycle cops from the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach and Palm Beach Gardens at Palm Beach International Airport on Sunday. (Melanie Bell/The Palm Beach Post)

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies who help protect President Donald Trump when he visits Mar-a-Lago racked up nearly $3.3 million in overtime during presidential trips between November and early February – money that county officials expect to get back from the federal government.

Congress set aside $41 million in March to reimburse local law enforcement agencies for “extraordinary…personnel costs” incurred through Sept. 30 “for protection activities directly and demonstrably associated with any residence of the President that is designated or identified to be secured by the United States Secret Service.”

Palm Beach County drew on a similar pot of federal money last year to get reimbursed for $3.4 million in security costs from Trump’s seven Mar-a-Lago visits in early 2017.

Trump has made 10 trips to Mar-a-Lago since November, wrapping up his most recent visit on Sunday. He greeted local law enforcement officers before boarding Air Force One and later paid tribute to them on Twitter.

During Trump’s Mar-a-Lago trips between Nov. 21 and Feb. 4, which covered at least a portion of 27 days, sheriff’s deputies earned $3.26 million in overtime, sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.
Payroll data is not yet available for the five visits Trump made between Feb. 16 and Sunday, which covered at least a portion of 20 days.

The presidential details are paid entirely with overtime so that routine law enforcement operations aren’t compromised, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said last year.

“We don’t take anybody off the road that handles normal calls for service,” Bradshaw said.

Author: George Bennett

George Bennett has been a Palm Beach Post reporter since 1992. He grew up in Bethesda, Md. and is a graduate of The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @gbennettpost

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