Raimondo’s $40K a Month Security Costs Draws Mixed Reaction
Friday, August 04, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team
|Governor Gina Raimondo|
The research by GoLocal found that the taxpayer cost of providing security for Raimondo has totaled over $1,269,431 since her taking office -- from January 1, 2015, through June 24, 2017.
Some Very Critical of the Costs
Rhode Island’s former top cop and the first and only woman elected Attorney General in the state questioned the approach.
“One takes a job in public service realizing that your decisions can make people unhappy and may carry some risk but that is the nature of the job," said former Attorney General Arlene Violet. "Not that I'm recommending it but it would have been cheaper to install a security system with a direct call into the police station [than having a RI State Trooper stationed in a vehicle every evening being paid overtime]."
|RI 1st and only Attorney General Arlene Violet|
Former Governor Lincoln Chafee, a strong-critic of Raimondo’s policies who bristled at having to have State Police coverage, tells GoLocal that the Raimondo coverage is costly.
“It is no wonder that Rhode Island has a $130 million dollar deficit in our last fiscal year with this cavalier attitude toward spending from the chief executive," said Chafee.
|Former Governor Lincoln Chafee|
Not only are officers covering during the daytime, but most days two troopers are required to cover 12 hours. The cost per hour for Raimondo’s overnight coverage can be as much as $90 per hour and more than $1,100 in additional daily costs.
More than three dozen individual troopers have been assigned to evening overnight detail at Raimondo’s home, bringing the total number of Troopers who have been assigned to nearly 50.
|Patricia Morgan, House Minority Leader|
“Of course if there's a credible and identifiable threat, the governor should get the security coverage that Colonel Assumpico thinks is necessary for her protection. But robust, around the clock security, seems gratuitous. A good security system with cameras is probably all that is necessary, and has the benefit of being more cost efficient,” added Morgan.
Others Defend the New Policy
Roger Williams University Political Science Professor, a former Democratic Town Council President in Barrington, cautions against second guessing safety concerns.
“Since the shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords in 2011 and the very recent shooting of Representative Steve Scalise, combined with the hostile tone of some debate in the public square, many elected officials feel a greater sense of threat," said Speakman. "And governors are the most visible and important members of their fifty states; virtually all of them have security details because of their role and visibility. This is neither unusual or inappropriate.”
"She is the first female Governor of RI and not well liked on the right. Under Donald Trump, many have felt emboldened to lash out and make threats. Given those two variables at play and not knowing specifically what's going on, this doesn't strike me all that extraordinary," said Deware State Coordinator Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America.