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NYPD Lowers Cost Estimate for Security at Trump Tower

By Noah Hurowitz | February 23, 2017 3:59pm
 Police blocked off the street around Trump Tower, where a man was found scaling the building's side.
Police blocked off the street around Trump Tower, where a man was found scaling the building's side.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

MIDTOWN — Protecting President Donald Trump’s Midtown residence in the months between his election and inauguration cost the city $10 million less than previous estimates, according to NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.

The NYPD operation securing Trump Tower between Nov. 8 and Jan. 20 cost the city roughly $25.7 million, a drop of nearly $10 million from the previous estimate of $35 million, O’Neill wrote in a letter to New York’s congressional delegation asking the electeds to request reimbursement for the cost.

The new estimate, a result of a review of overtime sheets, thousands of patrol log entries, and payroll records, concluded that the NYPD shelled out $24 million in the 75 days between election and inauguration, while the FDNY spent $1.7 million, O'Neill wrote in the letter, dated Tuesday.

The average daily cost during was about $334,000 until Dec. 20, and dropped to about $275,000 per day until the inauguration, a decline that O'Neill attributed to a more detailed understanding of security needs and a decrease in personnel after the holidays.

The operation, which has drawn in officers from precincts across the five boroughs, has dropped in cost since Trump relocated to the White House, but there’s little end in sight, O’Neill wrote.

Daily costs for the NYPD will average between $127,000 and $146,000 to protect Melania Trump and the president’s son Barron, who have opted to stay in Manhattan, and the operation will also cost the FDNY about $4.5 million annually, he wrote in the letter.

Trump has steered clear of New York since his inauguration, spending many weekends at his Florida golf resort, but when he does come to town, the daily cost of securing Trump Tower will rise to $308,000, O’Neill said.

Congress has earmarked $7 million to pay back part of the cost, but elected leaders have continued to rally for more federal funds, and according to O’Neill, getting cash to cover the cost is essential to the NYPD’s “dual mission” of keeping New Yorkers safe while also protecting the president’s family and property.

“Trump Tower itself now presents a target to those who wish to commit acts of terror against our country, further straining our limited counterterrorism resources,” he wrote. “Approval of the above request will allow New York City to accomplish this essential dual mission of securing a presidential residence while protecting and serving the millions of Americans who live in, work in, and visit our great city.”