MIDTOWN, Manhattan – City leaders on Tuesday grilled police officials on the cost of protecting President-elect Donald Trump at his midtown home, an unprecedented scenario posing security and economic challenges, including pulling officers from around the city to be part of the security detail at Trump Tower.
“Communities like Brownsville, southeast Queens, Far Rockaway, where crime is an issue, you’re diverting officers from there?” Councilman Donovan Richards Jr. asked NYPD Deputy Chief James Kehoe on Tuesday.
Kehoe said officers from all over the city are being called in to midtown for the increased security measures, but said he could not specify how many officers or from where, citing the “security of the president-elect.”
He said the overall impact of Trump Tower security is “very minimal” on the police department.
When questioned by Richards on whether crime could rise in precincts sending offers to midtown, Kehoe called that “speculation” and said most of the officers on patrol at Trump Tower are on overtime, with their precincts extending other officers’ patrol time to compensate for the loss.
That overtime is part of the daily cost – about $500,000 – of protecting Trump and his family. It’s estimated Trump Tower security will cost a total of $37.4 million from the time of the November election the Jan. 20 inauguration.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city leaders have pushed for reimbursement from the federal government. The mayor has said the security costs “are currently borne exclusively by the City’s taxpayers.”
In December, House Republicans offered the city $7 million to cover the security costs, falling significantly shortly of the $35 million requested.
The hearing on Tuesday was called by Councilman Dan Garodnick, chair of the Economic Development Committee whose district includes Trump Tower.
He called that offer from the GOP in the House “paltry.”
To that end, Garodnick asked Trump to stay at the White House and not treat his Manhattan home as a “pied a terre.” He said his council invited Trump or a representative to attend the meeting, but they did not respond.
The cost of protecting Trump won’t necessarily drop significantly once he moves to the White House, since Melania Trump and the couple’s 10-year-old son Barron expect to stay at their Trump Tower home until at least the end of the school year.
Trump has indicated he plans to return home regularly, especially while his wife and child are still there. But the security plan – and thus the cost and impact on the city – for that scenario is still unclear.
CNN contributed to this report.