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Biloxi will pay for security costs of presidential visit

Published: Nov. 29, 2018 at 8:17 AM CST
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The security costs associated with President Trump's visit to the Coast this week will cost the city of Biloxi but the exact amount has not yet been determined.

Biloxi leaders learn Tuesday during their city council meeting that the city will have to shell out its own money to cover the extra police support needed for the president's visit.

During a briefing about the president's trip, city councilman Paul Tisdale asked if the federal government would reimburse Biloxi for the money it spent to provide security. The answer was no.

Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer Mike Leonard said the city had to pick up the tab. “Obviously there was a very large and unplanned impact on our police budget,” Leonard said, noting the final cost was still being tabulated. “We’ll be discussing with the council at a later date once the numbers are all in."

When he heard that, Councilman Tisdale called the president’s visit a mixed blessing. “A lot of headaches, a lot of pride, and a lot of cost attached to this,” Tisdale said.

Police Chief John Miller said nearly 100 officers were assigned to the presidential detail. Most of the local police support came from Biloxi and Gulfport, though they received public safety assistance from Pascagoula, Wiggins, Harrison County and the Department of Marine Resources.

WATCH THE PRESIDENT SPEAK IN BILOXI

Last week, coliseum director Matt McDonnell said Donald J. Trump’s campaign booked and paid for the Mississippi Coast Coliseum so the president could hold his Monday night campaign rally. The event was one of two the president hosted in Mississippi. He also spoke at a rally in Tupelo before landing on the Coast.

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