New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration have estimated the cost of security operations for the trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other terrorism suspects connected to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, at more than $200 million.
In a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, released by the office of the mayor on Wednesday, Bloomberg seeks federal reimbursement for the full costs of providing security for the trials, reports The New York Times.
In the letter, the mayor said the cost for security operations would be $216 million for the first year and $206 million per year in subsequent years. Much of the expense — about $200 million each year — would be for personnel, the mayor wrote.
The rest of the money would be directed to equipment-related expenses of $12.5 million in the first year and $2.5 million in any subsequent years.
Although the mayor stressed that the city needed the “federal government to shoulder the significant costs we will incur and ease this burden,” he did not argue that the trials should not be held in New York.
Mr. Bloomberg also sought to cast the cost estimate in a realistic light, comparing it with the $50 million spent on security for the Republican National Convention in 2004.
The letter was also sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Earlier this week, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced he would request that the Obama administration agree to cover the costs of the trial by including a separate line in its upcoming fiscal year 2011 budget. His press release is reprinted below:
SCHUMER TO OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: FEDS MUST COVER ENTIRE SECURITY COSTS OF NYC TERROR TRIALS - NEED TO PUT SEPARATE LINE IN THIS YEARS BUDGET NOW TO SECURE FUNDING
Federal Terror Trials Set to Begin As Early As This Year Will Require Massive Security Mobilization - Costs to NYPD Could be in the Hundreds of Millions
Senator to Request Obama Administration Include Separate, Ironclad Line in Upcoming Budget
Without Separate Budget Line, Funding Could Well Come Out of Existing Terror Programs, Would “Rob Peter to Pay Paul”
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer will request that the Obama Administration include a separate line in its upcoming Fiscal Year 2011 budget, now being drawn up and set to be released next month, that devotes federal funding to cover the full costs to the NYPD and other local law enforcement of providing security for the upcoming terror trials. The trials, which could begin as early as this year, will require a massive security mobilization and though the FBI and U.S. Marshal service will be the lead the security effort, the supporting role provided by the NYPD could cost the department and the city hundreds of millions of dollars.
“The bottom line is these are federal terror cases that will bring to justice, in federal court, the evil men behind the attack on our nation on 9-11. It‘s common sense that the federal government pay for security costs because these trials will place a significant burden on the NYPD and the city to keep lower Manhattan safe and secure.”
Schumer spoke personally with Budget Director Peter Orszag and Attorney General Holder asking that the Administration include a separate line item dedicating funding to cover the full costs of security to the city, the NYPD, and other local law enforcement. Schumer said a separate line will help ensure that no funding has to be diverted away from other key programs the city relies on.
The U.S. marshals will handle security for the courthouse with the FBI and the NYPD charged with protecting the public and the surrounding area. Security will include 24-hour fixed canine posts and a counterassault team, along with the NYPD’s heavily armed Hercules teams to lock down and sweep the area before suspects are moved from the federal lockup to the courtroom.