President Donald Trump’s August visit to the Phoenix Convention Center cost the host city more than $450,000 in employee overtime expenses.
The police department — which had a vast and visible presence outside the convention center before, during and after Trump’s rally — incurred the majority of the cost. But the fire, streets, water and public works departments all racked up substantial expenditures as well.
“We do what it takes to protect the president of the United States when he visits Phoenix,” Mayor Greg Stanton said.
Here’s the cost incurred by each department:
— Public Works: $2,928
— Water Services : $4,481
— Street Transportation: $49,767
— Fire Department: $60,483
—Police Department: $336,887
Trump’s campaign paid for the convention center space and indoor security (about $50,000 total), but all other costs associated with his visit fall to the city, as would be the case with any candidate visit, City Manager Ed Zuercher told The Arizona Republic in August.
Trump’s appearance drew a much larger police response than any political event held in Arizona in the past several years.
Hundreds of officers patrolled downtown Phoenix for hours leading up to the event, as Trump supporters lined up to get a spot inside and thousands of protesters swarmed the streets surrounding the convention center.
The night ended shortly after the rally when police officers deployed smoke, pepper spray, pepper balls, gas and foam projectiles. Officers remained on duty for hours as some protesters lingered.
Zuercher said it would be inappropriate to charge Trump’s campaign or the protest groups for the costs the city incurred to manage the civic response to the president’s visit.
“You can’t dampen free speech by telling people they have to pay for free speech,” Zuercher said.
Some of the president’s adversaries questioned the need for Trump’s visit, especially when it carried a high price tag.
“It’s 2017. He just won in 2016. This shouldn’t be something that the city of Phoenix should pay for,” Arizona Democratic Party spokesman Enrique Gutierrez said.
He said Trump’s campaign should have to reimburse Phoenix for its additional expenses.
The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
City spokeswoman Julie Watters said in an email, “There has been no request for reimbursement and no offer. While a visit from the president and vice president is very unique in regards to the services that the city provided, our obligation was to keep all members of the community safe.”
Arizona Republican Party Spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair noted that candidates and their supporters visit Arizona all the time and cities always foot the bill for those visits.
“The safety and security of everyone involved should be priority No. 1. There are costs associated with that — whether it be an event for the President of the United States, former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Phoenix rally last October or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Tempe rally last November,” Arizona Republican Party Spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair said in a statement.
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