Obama visit cost Portland, South Portland $29,000 in police overtime

President Barack Obama speaks to a crowd at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland on Friday March 30, 2012.
President Barack Obama speaks to a crowd at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland on Friday March 30, 2012.
Posted April 06, 2012, at 8:10 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — President Barack Obama’s campaign swing through Portland and South Portland drew thousands of supporters, but it also cost area police departments thousands of dollars for overtime.

Portland spent nearly $21,000 in overtime associated with the president’s visit, while South Portland spent about $8,000 in overtime.

Assistant Portland Police Chief Vern Malloch called the president’s visit “an honor.”

South Portland Police Chief Ed Googins also said it was honor even though the overtime puts a strain on the budget. But he noted that other extraordinary circumstances, including poor weather, can also cost the city money.

Maine taxpayer advocate Steven Scharf told The Portland Press Herald the federal government should foot the local police overtime bill for presidential visits, no matter whether the president is a Democrat or Republican.

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