President-elect Donald Trump is expected to be back at Mar-a-Lago as early as Thursday night or Friday afternoon, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.
“It’s an extended stay," Bradshaw said in an exclusive interview with WPTV. "Possibly through the first of the year.”
It comes at a time when the sheriff has finalized the overtime bill for the president-elect's last visit to Palm Beach County.
PBSO has paid $248,000 in overtime and Bradshaw is confident his office will be reimbursed from the federal government.
If not, the budget would take a big hit.
"We have not factored that into the overtime budget," Bradshaw said.
During the last visit of the president-elect, PBSO had the brunt of the workload.
“The local law enforcement agency in Palm Beach does nothing," Bradshaw said. "I don’t think they have the capacity manpower-wise.”
The West Palm Police Department was the only other agency assisting with two officers, working 10 1/2 hours overtime.
Former FBI agent Stuart Kaplan said local agencies don't have to help the Secret Service and could simply opt out.
“It could happen and I guess at that point the United States Secret Service would have to undertake the task on their own,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan said the Secret Service puts the operations plan together and then contacts the local sheriff's office.
At that point, the sheriff's office can reach out to other local law enforcement agencies for support. Bradshaw said his office is looking mostly to other sheriff's offices for help.
“Local police departments only have jurisdiction within their confide," Bradshaw said. "You’d be hopping from city to city so it doesn’t make too much sense to ask them.”
Kaplan said another reason for the Secret Service to talk to the sheriff's office first is simply due to resources. The Palm Beach Police Department only has less than 70 officers.
“People on the island would be kind of upset if they knew that their resources were being depleted at the behest of the Secret Service,” Kaplan said. “Ultimately it’s going to come down to dollars and cents as to who can provide the men and women."
Bradshaw said it took the motorcade around 11 minutes to get President-elect Trump from the airport to Mar-a-Lago. He said his office is well prepared for another visit by Trump.
“We’re fully capable of doing it," Bradshaw said. "We have the manpower to do it. As long as we get reimbursed we’ll be good to go.”
Visits by the President-elect are going to become the new normal and if PBSO is not getting reimbursed, it could become an expensive one for Palm Beach County taxpayers.