A date with President Barack Obama carries a hefty price tag when you’re the Honolulu Police Department.
Over the past several years, the Leader of the Free World has regularly visited his hometown for Christmas vacations as well as for the high-octane Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012.
With each trip Obama gets an HPD motorcade and security detail that provides an extra layer of protection that’s in addition to his earpiece-wearing, heat-packing U.S. Secret Service agents.
But if you thought the president would pick up the tab — or even feign a reach for the bill — you’re wrong.
HPD has to pay dozens of officers overtime to make sure Obama is safe and can get to Sandy’s without fearing for his life.
This year the cost to HPD was $224,033. The prior two years HPD paid $377,689, bringing the three-year total to more than $600,000.
But Obama isn’t the only dignitary who gets special treatment when he comes to Honolulu. HPD provides protection to all sorts of high-ranking officials.
For instance, when the Sultan of Brunei came to the Aloha State in March, HPD provided a motorcade escort and overtime expenses for 14 of its officers.
The cost? $23,778.79.
And when Attorney General Eric Holder visited Honolulu in July 2012 and May 2013 HPD footed $26,872.36 in overtime pay.
As Civil Beat has reported before, HPD doesn’t track the total cost of providing this extra security. The agency only keeps tabs on the overtime since the regular salaries would have been paid anyway.
The special details aren’t automatic, either. HPD usually needs to be contacted by a federal agency, such as the Secret Service, FBI or U.S. State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security, before it assigns officers.