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Palm Beach County Commissioner worries over lack off security funding for presidential visits

Posted at 5:49 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 08:25:15-05

Every day the president spends at Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach County spends at least $65,000 to help keep him safe, said Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw. 

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Palm Beach County Commissioner Hal Valeche wondered out loud at a meeting on Tuesday, what if the sheriff’s office stopped providing deputies to the president’s security detail? 

“My suggestion was not that we stop, but what would the Secret Service do if we said, 'No, we can’t provide this.' They have to protect the president, that is their job,” said Valeche. 

The county has received $3.4 million from FEMA as reimbursement for the president’s visits, but that covered up to September 2017. 

“I would think the reimbursement for our costs for doing it would be automatic,” said Valeche. 

He thinks there needs to be a faster way to get the money back to Palm Beach County, especially to the sheriff’s office. 

“Yes, I am frustrated that we can’t get it faster, but I think we will get it faster than we did before,” said Bradshaw. 

Bradshaw said the idea of not providing service when the president is in town is wrong. It is a public safety issue and deputies help with traffic and crowd control.  

“It’s not a big issue for us,” said Bradshaw. 

Valeche hopes the county can get out of the catch-up game and not wait for millions of dollars. 

Bradshaw thinks a new system will help with that: “I don’t think it is going to take as long this next time because the process is in place.”

President Trump is expected to land at Palm Beach International around 4 p.m. on Friday.