As Democrat mayors and city councils in 25 major cities cut funding for local police departments, many of the same politicians have benefited from private police that they hired at public expense.
About 20 cities pay for private security for their public officials, often costing millions of dollars per year, Forbes reported.
However, only Democrat-run cities managed both to defund the local police and to hire private security for their municipal elites. Republican-led cities with private-security arrangements have not backed cuts to local police departments.
The watchdog group Open the Books filed Freedom of Information Act requests with 25 of the nation’s largest cities to learn which public officials have private police, how many officers they have, and how much they pay them.
Lightfoot, whose city suffered an already abysmal crime rate even before last year’s “defund” movement publicly opposed movement, but she nonetheless eliminated almost 400 police officer jobs in 2020, Forbes reported.
Private security for Chicago’s unnamed officials has steadily climbed from $2.7 million for 16 guards in 2015 to $3.4 million for 22 guards in 2020.
Yet, Breed’s office released The Dream Keeper Initiative—a plan to reinvest in the city’s Black and African-American Community—that would cut the local police department’s funding by $120 million next year.
The price of Breed’s private police force has risen by almost $1 million since 2015. The officers cost $2.6 million last year.
The New York Police Department did not disclose how much Mayor Bill de Blasio pays per year for police officers to protect him, but he apparently spent $358,000 in 2020 while floundering along with an unserious presidential campaign.
De Blasio’s wife and son receive taxpayer-funded security details, too.
At the same time, the New York City Council cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion budget.
Of the cities that reported last year’s private police expenditures, public officials in Baltimore, Maryland spent the most: $3.6 million for 14 police officers to protect Mayor Brendon Scott, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
Baltimore cuts its police force’s budget by $22 million in 2020, the Baltimore Sun reported.
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria receives protection from 12 full-time police officers who will cost $2.6 million in 2021. The officers also guard public buildings and the city council during its meetings.
Gloria suggested $4.3 million in cuts to the local police’s overtime budget, Voice of San Diego reported. Yet, she proposed a $1 million allocation to the city’s new Commission on Police Practices, which will provide oversight.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has spent around $700,000 per year for the past six years on private police protection, costing the city $4.2 million in total.
While Hancock publicly refuses to slash the police department’s budget, he has directed public health workers to respond to domestic disturbances instead of officers.
Many more mayors and city councils across the country have cut funding for their police departments, but they have not yet given information to Open the Books about private police details for those same officials.