Sunday, August 16, 2009

Waste of taxpayer money, again and again

More than 200 peace officers helped cover multiple events in the county related to the first family’s nearly three-hour stop in the Grand Valley Saturday.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Junction Police Department, Grand Junction Fire Department, Colorado State Patrol, Bureau of Land Management and the Clifton Fire Department helped U.S. Secret Service agents keep an eye on events surrounding President Barack Obama’s visit.

The police department spent some $3,000 to $5,000 in overtime pay to assist the Secret Service, with 75 employees, including officers, dispatchers and police service technicians. The Sheriff’s Office estimates it cost $5,000 to $10,000 to assign 71 employees to cover multiple events Saturday. Each department will pay the amount required to provide assistance.

“We consider events like this to be an agency assist,” said Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey. “The Secret Service is one of our federal law enforcement partners and they can not fulfill their missions without local law enforcement. We are pleased and proud to be able to assist them in their mission today.”

This doesn't include the cost of the secret service, who was put up at the Hampton Inn. I can't imagine they got much of a group discount rate from the owners here. Other costs: Fueling the motorcade that runs through all the towns he visits, fueling Air Force One, or the helicopter that brings him in and out of the venue, cost of set up and take down of the venue, etc., etc. This doesn't come out the "departments". This is our pockets. I don't make a lot money (less than $40k a year), I contribute the max amount to my 401(k) to defer taxes, and last year I still owed the feds. I appreciate their concern over spending more and more and more for nothing, nothing, nothing.

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