- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 27, 2017

New York City will spend $308,000 a day protecting President Trump when he returns next week for the first time since taking office, on the heels of his administration’s recent critique of local law enforcement’s “soft on crime” stance.

The New York Police Department’s chief spokesperson said Wednesday authorities expect Mr. Trump’s homecoming next week will warrant a significant security presence at a cost of over a quarter-million dollars per day, piling atop the millions already spent protecting the president in the weeks before he left his Manhattan penthouse for Washington.

“We recognize that this will be the president’s first official visit to New York City since taking office,” spokesman Stephen Davis told the New York Times Wednesday, “and the NYPD will assign the resources necessary for the security of this event.”

Mr. Trump will visit the USS Intrepid warship in New York City May 4, and will participate in a commemoration ceremony alongside Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the White House said this week.

“The mayor embraces this as an opportunity to remind the president that New York is the greatest city in the world because of, not in spite of, our diversity and inclusiveness,” Eric Phillips, a spokesman for Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, told The New York Times.

The NYPD “is plenty prepared to handle the president’s security and the expected outpouring of New Yorkers who look forward to greeting him,” Mr. Phillips said.

The Trump administration provoked outrage across Manhattan days earlier after the Justice Department issued a statement that said the city was “soft on crime,” and attributed New York’s allegedly lax immigration policies with an apparent surge in gang activity.

“When I read that statement by the DOJ this afternoon, my blood began to boil,” New York Police Commissioner James O’Neil told CBS News afterwards.

Mr. de Blasio called the Justice Department’s claim “absolutely outrageous.”

“We did not become the safest big city in America by being soft on crime,” the mayor said.

The daily rate of $308,000 is identical with the cost involved in protecting Mr. Trump prior to his swearing-in Jan. 20. New York City spent that amount each day providing security outside Mr. Trump’s Manhattan residence from his Election Day win until his inauguration over two months later, in turn costing the city about $37 million. Nearly a fifth of that amount was reimbursed by the federal government within a month of Mr. Trump’s administration.

The Justice Department’s criticism last week wasn’t the only comment to provoke the Big Apple since Mr. Trump took office. City Hall raised concerns last month after Mr. Trump proposed a budget plan poised to strip funding from “critical” counterterrorism programs, according to officials.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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