Letter to OMB Director Peter Orszag from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

The following is from a letter sent by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to OMB Director Peter Orszag requesting full federal funding to reimburse the City for security costs associated with Terrorism Trials to be held in Manhattan.
January 5, 2010
The Honorable Peter R. Orszag
Director Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503
Dear Director Orszag,

As you are well aware, the suspected perpetrators of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil will soon be brought to New York City to face criminal prosecution. The City of New York will provide the security necessary to ensure public safety, not only while the suspects are on trial, but throughout the entire time the suspects are detained in New York City.

I want to express my strong support of Senator Charles E. Schumer’s proposal that President Obama include a separate line in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2011 budget that devotes federal funding to reimburse the NYPD and other local law enforcement for the full costs of providing security for the upcoming trials.

The City of New York’s financial resources are in short supply, and we have been forced to reduce our Police Department’s headcount. Thus, securing the trial will require us to pull existing personnel from crime prevention efforts around the City and require significant overtime expenses. As 9/11 was an attack on the entire nation, we need the federal government to shoulder the significant costs we will incur and ease this burden.

We estimate the cost for security operations will be approximately $216 million for the first year and $206 million annually in subsequent years. This includes personnel costs of more than $200 million annually and equipment costs of $12.5 million in the first year and $2.5 million in subsequent years. We have shared our security plans and estimated costs with the Justice Department as we work with our federal partners to prepare for the trials.

I want to assure you that our estimates, while significant, are real and not the result of any expectation that we will receive a “blank check.” For the sake of comparison, the cost of policing the Republican National Convention in 2004 was $50 million and that event was less than a week long. The security arrangements for the incarceration and trial periods will be need to be in place around the clock over a period of years….

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