Kansas City Police Department help during Republican convention visit worth at least $40,000

06/15/2014 1:23 PM

06/15/2014 9:19 PM

The uniformed police presence during the recent Republican convention visit to Kansas City was worth an estimated $40,000, the police department said last week.

Spokesman Capt. Tye Grant said 68 officers provided some services to the convention site selection committee during the trip, which stretched over three days. They racked up 937 hours of work, including security, police escorts and equipment demonstrations.

Grant declined to provide specific spending figures but said the average cost for an officer is $43.36 an hour. That puts the estimated personnel expense at $40,628, not including any spending on transportation or other costs, or any overtime.

“Our department will pay for most of this investment,” Grant said in an email. “This was training on our part for the actual convention, or any other dignitary protection/escort that we periodically have.”

Mayor Sly James has said the convention task force relies mostly on private funds. When uniformed police officers appeared in a convention promotional video earlier this year, he said those officers — also on the public payroll — were actually training for a future presidential motorcade.

On Friday, Joni Wickham, James’ spokeswoman, said the $40,000 doesn’t represent additional costs to taxpayers because many of the officers were called away from other duties.

“Those officers would had been paid for working those hours whether or not the RNC selection committee was in town at that time,” she said in an email.

A spokesman for the city’s convention task force said private funds would pay for any off-duty officers needed for security services during the week.

To reach Dave Helling, call 816-234-4656 or send email to dhelling@kcstar.com.

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