Today in Security - D.C. Security Funding Issues

Today in Security: Washington, D.C., Security Funding Issues

The Washington, D.C., special fund used to protect the nation’s capital from terrorist threats and provide security at events such as rallies and state funerals has been depleted, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said Tuesday in a letter to President Trump, according to various media reports.

Bowser said that Trump’s overhauled July Fourth celebration cost the D.C. Emergency Planning and Security Fund $1.7 million. That amount, combined with police expenses for demonstrations through the weekend, further depleted the fund, which now may run an estimated $6 million deficit by 30 September, the Washington Post reports. The mayor also said in the letter that the account had already been depleted because it was never reimbursed for $7.3 million in security expenses from Trump’s 2017 inauguration.

Bowser requested that the fund be reimbursed.

“We ask for your help with ensuring the residents of the District of Columbia are not asked to cover millions of dollars of federal expenses and are able to maintain our high standards of protection for federal events,” she wrote.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, the Post reports.

Chris Rodriguez, director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, told the Post that the estimated costs for July Fourth were six times as much as in years past and were likely to grow as the city continues to tally expenses.

The new Independence Day celebration, called “A Salute to America,” included a speech by President Trump at the Lincoln Memorial, flyovers by military aircraft, and a display of armored vehicles on the National Mall.

The D.C. Emergency Planning and Security Fund is filled by federal money that reimburses the city for its unique public safety costs as the nation’s capital. Those include providing security at presidential inaugurations, visits by foreign dignitaries and the massive rallies that periodically come to the District.​

To read about security funding at U.S. National Park sites, see the Security Management story “Iconic Security.”