Helena, Montana

Law enforcement costs for Trump Billings visit: about $58,000

BILLINGS – The Billings Police Department and Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office spent about $58,230 in overtime and other labor costs during President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Billings.

Billings Police Department officials said Friday the president’s rally and overnight stay cost $45,900. For Yellowstone County, the cost was $12,930, which included 411 hours dedicated to security detail and 50 hours from outside agencies.

Also on Friday, Billings police administrators increased their estimated security costs for Vice President Mike Pence’s one-day visit to Billings in July to $30,000, up from early estimates of $20,000. Chief Rich St. John has said he’s seeking a reimbursement from the vice president’s office but has not heard back.

In all, the department said the cost to provide security for Trump, Pence and Donald Trump Jr., who spoke at a June rally in Billings, cost the city roughly $82,000 in security costs.

Both Trumps and Pence came to Billings to rally support for Republican Matt Rosendale, who is seeking to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.

In a release, the Billings police noted the costs are for security, and the president’s visit was resounding successes with no significant incidents to report.

They state that the motorcade movements between multiple venues, sometimes on the spur of the moment, were labor intensive and required a large number of officers.

The release also states there were more officer overtime costs endured because of Trump’s overnight stay. Billings police was required to shut down two square blocks of downtown for approximately 20 hours.

Below is a breakdown from the Billings Police Department on how much money was spent on all of the Trump administration visits to Billings in recent months. This includes Pence’s visit as well as Trump Jr.

Following is a close calculation of overtime costs based on the OT rate of a 10-year officer ($48.25) on a 22 step pay matrix.

Description
POTUS                          VPOTUS                               Trump Jr.
Overtime Hours         827.36                          555.5                                     89.75
Overtime Cost           $39,900                         $26,800                                 $4,300
Short Shift Hours     124                                 92                                          12
Short Shift Cost        $5,983                           $4,400                                   $580
Total Hours                951.36                           647.50                                   107.75
Total Cost                  $45,900                         $31,200                                  $5,000
Cumulative Total       $82,100

The release also said, “We are proud of the department’s performance, not only for providing security, but for traffic management, crowd control, managing protesters, technical support, and logistical support.”

Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said 41 deputies were used for security, traffic control and other assistance from all levels of the department. Some hours included on-duty deputies called away from regular duties, but the majority were for providing security inside and outside Rimrock Auto Arena.

Other agencies assisting were Laurel Police Department, Montana Highway Patrol, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, Montana Gambling investigation Division, Rosebud County Sheriff’s Office and the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office.

Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN News

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