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Posted: October 26, 2017

Trump security: Florida city wants $1.1 million in police equipment

President Donald Trump walks down the steps of Air Force One after landing at Dallas Love Field airport, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump walks down the steps of Air Force One after landing at Dallas Love Field airport, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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By George Bennett, Palm Beach Post

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. —

Citing the increased security demands that come with President Donald Trump’s frequent visits to neighboring Palm Beach, Mayor Jeri Muoio wants to spend $1.1 million for a pair of special police vehicles and a patrol boat.

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Muoio hopes to get $525,000 of the money from the Florida Legislature. Rep. Rick Roth, R-West Palm Beach, will sponsor the city’s appropriations request in Tallahassee.

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach is across the Intracoastal Waterway from West Palm Beach. Presidential motorcades routinely venture through West Palm Beach along Southern Boulevard and other routes, and West Palm Beach is often the staging area for demonstrations by Trump’s supporters and protesters.

The three items Muoio hopes to add are:

  • A “mass casualty incident response truck” to provide medical supplies such as IV bags, stretchers, trauma dressing, tarps, tourniquets, lights and generators “to treat a large number of victims.” Muoio estimated its cost around $400,000.
  • An “incident command vehicle” with an estimated $500,000 price tag. It would serve as a command post that could be used by federal and local authorities for incidents such as “protests, special events, bomb/SWAT events, natural disaster…or an act of terrorism,” according to a city description. It would replace the city’s current, 14-year-old vehicle, which “lacks capability to effectively interface with body cameras and drone technologies.”
  • A police patrol boat, estimated to cost $200,000. The craft would improve protection during waterfront events, such as Sunfest and the Palm Beach Boat Show, and also increase inspection and protection of bridges to Palm Beach during presidential visits and “thwart threatening attempts to travel to Mar-a-Lago.”

“We really want to make sure that we have all of the equipment we need for our police and fire department should there be a mass casualty (incident), so we can patrol the Intracoastal as necessary, and to be prepared,” Muoio said in a recent interview.

“We’re the place where the protests occur, so we have to make sure that protesters are safe and orderly.”

Roth agreed.

“The city of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach have an undue burden. The federal government needs to help, and they are, and maybe the state needs to help as well,” said Roth, who said he’s looking for someone in the Senate to champion the city’s request in that chamber.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is the lead local law enforcement agency in helping the Secret Service protect the president when he visits.

The federal government recently approved a $1 million reimbursement to local taxpayers for security costs incurred when Trump stayed at Mar-a-Lago as president-elect. More than 95 percent of that money went to the Sheriff’s Office, with $11,355 going to West Palm Beach. The county is still waiting for approval of about $3.5 million in federal funding to cover law enforcement costs during Trump’s seven trips to Mar-a-Lago as president between February and April.


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