Pence Billings visit cost police $20K in overtime, chief says

Posted at 3:14 PM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-01 17:14:50-04

BILLINGS- Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Billings last week cost the city $20,000 in overtime for security, Chief Rich St. John said Tuesday.

The Billings Police Department assisted secret service with security and logistics for the Vice President’s arrival, as well as his movements throughout the Magic City, two events, and an overnight stay.

Other law enforcement agencies, including the Yellowstone County Sheriffs office and Montana Highway Patrol who were also involved with the Vice Presidential visit have yet to release their costs.

Pence’s visit was a shot in the arm for other local groups, including MetraPark, which was paid about $8,400 to use the Montana Pavilion, said marketing director Ray Massie.

The actual room rental is only about $2,000, and the rest of the costs went for additional security measures, materials and personnel.

In comparison, when Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders made an appearance at the Montana Pavillion in his 2016 campaign for president, the cost was about $4,300.

Ray Massie, marketing director for MetraPark, said the cost was lower because Sanders’ team brought in some of their own equipment, and less security was needed.

The host of the Pence visit, conservative lobbying group America First Policies, paid more than $17,000 for the event, which included MetraPark fees, a sounds sytem and other costs, according to Massie.