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Spokane will likely pick up $20,000-plus tab for Pence security

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 3, 2018, 11 p.m.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence gestures to the crowd at Signature Flight Support at Spokane International Airport before heading into Spokane, Wash., Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. Pence came to downtown Spokane to stump for Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who faces a strong challenge this year from Democrat Lisa Brown. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence gestures to the crowd at Signature Flight Support at Spokane International Airport before heading into Spokane, Wash., Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. Pence came to downtown Spokane to stump for Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who faces a strong challenge this year from Democrat Lisa Brown. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane Police Department estimates that Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Spokane may cost the city between $20,000 and $25,000.

A spokeswoman for the Spokane Police and Fire Departments, Michele Anderson, said 101 extra officers and volunteers worked Tuesday. She said the department usually has 22 officers working that time of day, but Tuesday 123 were on duty.

Marlene Feist said the city has billed campaigns from both parties for policing costs associated with visits by high-profile public figures, but it has not been reimbursed. Anderson said an invoice would be sent to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ campaign.

President Donald Trump’s campaign did not pay the $65,124 invoice the city sent for overtime policing costs accrued during his 2016 visit. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ campaigns did not pay their invoices from campaign appearances either. Clinton was in Spokane in 2008. Bernie Sanders’ two visits in 2016 cost the city about $33,000, and former President Bill Clinton’s public speaking appearance at Spokane Falls Community College in 2016 cost about $2,800.

Feist said heightened police presence when high-profile officials are in town isn’t unusual and is designed to protect the official and people in the area.

“The dangers that our vice president might face might impact local citizens as well,” she said.

Anderson said the Secret Service requested that the section of Bernard Street between Main Avenue and Spokane Falls Boulevard, as well as the portion of Spokane Falls Boulevard between Washington Street and the Double Tree Hotel close between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

She said an additional 60 firefighters were working as well, but did not have an estimate on how much that cost the city.


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