Cost of Elections for Local Law Enforcement

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va -- State police and local law enforcement agencies spent more than $350,000 on security during campaign visits and the Valley was no exception. With multiple campaign stops, our own agencies also provided support. That support doesn't come cheap.

When Mitt Romney made Fishersville one of his campaign stops, leaders of the Secret Service reached out to the Augusta County Sheriff for help. The sheriff then got Waynesboro police to help and now, they are trying to fill holes in their budgets.

“Upwards of about $2800 was spent from the Waynesboro police department. That's a good amount of money. Once that money is gone, you hope to get the reimbursements,” said Sgt. Brian Edwards with Waynesboro Police Department.

As of right now, those reimbursements don't seem to be coming. Secret Service leaders said they don't have the money to pay local governments back.

“There was no discussion about who was paying for it, although I did see one of the campaign staffers the night of the big even at Expo and, while they have some money, so on an so forth, nothing had been authorized,” said Augusta County Sheriff Randy Fisher.

Considering we're talking tax payer dollars, some said the Romney Campaign should pay for the costs.

“You don't want to rob Peter to pay Paul. You don't want the money to come from another tax resource. It would be nice if it came from the campaigns themselves,” said Sgt. Edwards.

The law enforcement presence was not only for the politicians.

“While we may be providing dignitary protection for the politicians, we have community to serve also,” said Sheriff Fisher.

Staunton Police leaders said they lost more than $3,000 of their budget for the campaign. None of the department leaders expect to have any problems because of the deficits, adding that they were happy to serve.


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