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Manchester Police: No Plans To Bill President Trump’s Campaign for Rally Costs

Robert Garrova / NHPR


Manchester Police Chief Carlo Capano says his department won't bill President Trump's re-election campaign for any expenses associated with his visit Thursday.


The rally, to be held at the SNHU arena in downtown Manchester, is expected to draw over 11,000 people. The area around SNHU will be closed to traffic, and protests are also expected.


Capano says the SNHU arena will hire off-duty police officers for extra security. He says the arena, which is managed by the Pennsylvania-based company SMG, will likely bill the Donald Trump for President 2020 campaign for this expense.


But Manchester PD doesn't plan to increase its numbers substantially Thursday. Capano says it's not Manchester's practice to bill the President for these expenses anyway.


“Historically, whenever there is a seated President and they have Secret Service protection, we work with our federal counterparts, so we wouldn't look to bill the Secret Service to assist them with security,” he said.


Other cities bill the President's election campaign for police and public safety expenses.


Dave Levinthal, a reporter with the Center for Public Integrity, reviewed records from cities across the country where President Trump made stops on the 2016 campaign trail.  


“The city has two choices,” Levinthal explains. “They can say ‘This is part of our duty to provide safety services to everyone who comes into our city, whether it be a family of tourists or the President of the United States.’ Or they can send a bill.”


Levinthal found that the majority of cities hosting President Trump distinguished between an official White House visit and a campaign stop by the President. Most chose to bill the President for security costs for campaign stops; nine of these cities are still waiting on payments, most totaling over $40,000.


No federal law requires a candidate to reimburse a city for security expenses, and President Trump is not the first candidate to fail to pay these bills. Levinthal found that Barack Obama’s campaign failed to pay on time, and that Bernie Sanders’ campaign paid some bills late or not at all.


Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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