Weatherford Democrat

January 22, 2009

Crowd control could cost $1M at Bush’s Dallas home

DALLAS (AP) — The cost to provide police officers around the clock for one year at former President George W. Bush’s new home in an affluent Dallas neighborhood could reach $1 million, according to Police Chief David Kunkle.

The figure is based on the cost of providing two officers in a squad car on a 24-hour basis for 12 months.

“We have had officers out there frequently because of the crowds and traffic,” Kunkle said in an online story Wednesday for The Dallas Morning News.

City Manager Mary Suhm said the city does not plan to ask the federal government to reimburse Dallas for police patrols of Bush’s neighborhood.

“I don’t believe that it’ll be a massive expense,” she said. Dallas “is going to take care of the president like we would take care of any of our citizens.”

Ed Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, said there is no “mechanism for the Secret Service to reimburse police departments for salaries, overtime or any associated costs.”

“I don’t know how long we will have to commit people,” said Kunkle. He said he expects the interest of onlookers to wane over time. Kunkle declined to discuss the department’s specific arrangements, citing security concerns.

Kunkle also said he does not expect that the department will provide motorcades for the former president. On those rare occasions when Bush needs escorts, police will provide them, officials said.

Last week, the Dallas City Council approved installation of a gate to block access to the former president’s new 8,500-square-foot home in the Preston Hollow area. The house carries a market value of $2.1 million.