The Honolulu Police Department spent $248,000 in overtime for the recent visit of President Barack Obama, according to Michelle Yu, spokesperson for the department.
Obama, his family and friends, vacationed in three private rented homes in Kailua, Oahu, for several days over the holidays from Christmas to early January.
The Honolulu Police Department would not release the details of the police detail or the number of officers working for security reasons.
Last year, Obama’s police escorts cost the Hawaii taxpayers $107,000, because when he visited in 2008, he was the president elect and not the president.
The cost of the 2008 and 2009 visits totaling $355,000 has not been reimbursed by the federal government.
The Honolulu Police Department has no plans to ask the county council for emergency funding to cover either this visit or the past visit, both unexpected expenses. Since Obama has expressed interest in returning to Hawaii during future holidays, a police spokesperson says they may budget for his visits in future budget requests.
While Obama was here, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vacationed on another main Hawaiian island – the Big Island of Hawaii in what West Hawaii Today reports as the Presidential Suite at the Hualalai resort for $10,000 nightly.
As with the president’s visit, Pelosi was escorted by local police officers.
According to a letter from the Hawaii County Police Department sent in response to an inquiry from ‘Hawaii Reporter’, Pelosi’s visit cost Hawaii county taxpayers more than $21,000.
The county of Hawaii would not release the number of police officers escorting Pelosi, how many hours they were on Pelosi’s security detail, or whether they were being pulled from other duties.
The visits by both Pelosi and Obama are coming at a time when county mayors and their departments are looking for ways to cut back on expenses and considering tax hikes because of shrinking tax revenues and the proposed plan by Gov. Linda Lingle to take all four counties’ share of the visitor tax to balance the state budget.
‘Reach Hawaii Reporter editor Malia Zimmerman at mailto:Malia@hawaiireporter.com/’