Police not yet paid for campaign visits

Posted at 8:02 PM, Jan 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-24 05:39:57-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)—Local police departments rolled out extra manpower when candidates, and their wives visited, but most of those bills have not been paid yet. 

The Richmond Police Department still hasn’t been reimbursed for the extra manpower they offered President Barack Obama when he kicked off his re-election campaign.His visit drew huge crowds and required a heavy police presence in Richmond.

Dozens of city officers provided extra manpower, closed city streets and neighborhoods for the events.

"It's no secret that Virginia was a swing state and the campaigns felt it necessary to visit frequently,” said Richmond Police Deputy Chief John Buturla. “So, that really taxed our resources.”

CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones investigated how much it cost taxpayers for President Obama's campaign stops, and who picked up the tab.

When a Presidential candidate stops by the visit runs anywhere from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars

According to Richmond police, there were three campaign stops in the City of Richmond, two which included police overtime.

The city spent $1,414.13 in overtime on the July 14, 2012 campaign stop.  On the Oct. 25, 2012 visit, the cost for police overtime added up to $9,163.54.

"We're looking forward to getting the reimbursement,” said Deputy Chief Buturla. “And we hope that it comes through.”

He requested reimbursement from the Democratic Party of Virginia in late November.

And so far, Buturla said, the RPD hasn't seen a dime--and he’s not surprised.

"With the inauguration just a couple of days ago, they're probably looking at closing their books on various things,” he said.  “Just similar to the way we deal with our processes.”

But at a time when the economy is tight, Buturla says the city could use the money.

"Certainly, our budget is very lean and I think Richmond like many of the metropolitan areas in the country that were privileged to have the candidates come and visit,” he said. “We're probably facing the same challenges.“

“So, I'm sure that the parties are facing invoices from around the country,” he added.

In fact, other local counties haven’t been reimbursed.  The Chesterfield Police Department has made a request to their respective campaigns for reimbursement of man-hours spent.

The Chesterfield force racked up 393 hours for Vice President Joe Biden's Visit on Sept. 25, 2012, for a total operational cost of $10,993.96

Ann Romney's visit on October 8, 2012 used 115.75 man hours for a total cost of $3,513.77.

Her husband, candidate Mitt Romney, visited on Oct.12, 2012, and 290 hours cost  the force a total of $8,713.16.

First Lady Michelle Obama's visit on Nov. 2, 2012 used 203 manpower hours for a total cost of $6,570.10

The total amount of expenses Henrico Police incurred for the presidential campaign in 2012 was $251,561.22.

The department said that includes regular and overtime staff hours (total payment and FICA costs) as well as vehicle costs (such as mileage).   The department has been reimbursed for one visit by Rudolph Guiliani in July 2012, for the amount of $1,851.77.

CBS 6 reached out to both the Democrat and Republican party of Virginia.  CBS 6 is waiting to hear when and how much these localities will be reimbursed by the respective parties.