The Arizona Republic: President Trump’s August rally cost Phoenix taxpayers more than $450,000


“It was irresponsible for Donald Trump and his campaign to hold this rally after the Mayor explicitly objected to having such a contentious event held in Phoenix just days after the tragedy in Charlottesville. Now, Phoenix taxpayers are left with costs amounting to more than $450,000 for a rally that laid the groundwork for his administration’s pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the rescinding of DACA. Instead of trying to rip apart families, strip millions of Americans of healthcare and burdening cities with large costs, Trump should focus on offering real solutions to America’s families – not pushing harmful policies that are fueled by hateful rhetoric,” said DNC spokesperson Vedant Patel.

The Arizona Republic: President Trump's August rally cost Phoenix taxpayers more than $450,000

By Jessica Boehm

President Donald Trump's August visit to the Phoenix Convention Center cost the host city more than $450,000 in employee overtime expenses. The police department — which had a vast and visible presence outside the convention center before, during and after Trump's rally — incurred the majority of the cost. But the fire, streets, water and public works departments all racked up substantial expenditures as well. 

“We do what it takes to protect the president of the United States when he visits Phoenix,” Mayor Greg Stanton said.

Here's the cost incurred by each department:

— Public Works:  $2,928 

— Water Services : $4,481

— Street Transportation: $49,767 

— Fire Department: $60,483 

—Police Department:  $336,887

Trump's campaign paid for the convention center space and indoor security (about $50,000 total), but all other costs associated with his visit fall to the city, as would be the case with any candidate visit, City Manager Ed Zuercher told The Arizona Republic in August.

Trump's appearance drew a much larger police response than any political event held in Arizona in the past several years. 

Hundreds of officers patrolled downtown Phoenix for hours leading up to the event, as Trump supporters lined up to get a spot inside and thousands of protesters swarmed the streets surrounding the convention center.

The night ended shortly after the rally when police officers deployed smoke, pepper spray, pepper balls, gas and foam projectiles. Officers remained on duty for hours as some protesters lingered.

Zuercher said it would be inappropriate to charge Trump's campaign or the protest groups for the costs the city incurred to manage the civic response to the president's visit.

“You can't dampen free speech by telling people they have to pay for free speech,” Zuercher said.