- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - The Honolulu Police Department spent nearly $278,000 in overtime costs to help protect President Barack Obama and his family during their annual winter vacation.

Overtime costs for the department have risen dramatically since the Obamas began spending their holidays in Hawaii, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://ow.ly/Hgc9G ) reported Tuesday.

The department spent $107,000 in overtime during the first Obama Hawaii vacation after he was elected president in 2008.

Since then, the president has spent every Christmas season vacationing in his birthplace.

On vacation, presidents generally pay for their own lodging, food and incidentals. The government pays for transportation, security and support staff expenses

According to figures released by the department, the $277,585 in overtime costs for the vacation that ended last week was less than in 2013, when the department spent $293,731 to provide round-the-clock protection.

In the past, the Honolulu City Council has asked the federal government for money back for the president’s visits and was turned down.

Maui taxpayers picked $54,234 in Maui police overtime in 2013 when Michelle Obama visited Oprah Winfrey, who owns an estate on the slopes of Haleakala. After the president and two daughters returned to Washington, D.C., the first lady took the side trip to Maui to celebrate her 50th birthday.

The Obamas have rented the same five-bedroom oceanfront villa in Kailua during each visit. It reportedly rents for about $3,500 a day.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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