Philadelphia Getting $43.1 Million from Department of Justice for Democratic National Convention Security and More | NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Philadelphia Getting $43.1 Million from Department of Justice for Democratic National Convention Security and More

Philadelphia is getting tens of millions of dollars to cover security costs and related expenses for the Democratic National Convention in July. NBC10's Brandon Hudson talks to a security expert about whether the money is warranted. (Published Saturday, April 23, 2016)

Philadelphia is getting more than $43 million from the federal government to cover safety costs during this summer's Democratic National Convention, city officials say.

The Department of Justice awarded the city a $43,155,141 grant to pay for a bevy of things from police and fire protection to bomb squads to traffic cones and smartphone batteries during the four day event in late July.

A breakdown of expenses obtained by NBC10 Friday explains how city officials expect to spend the money:

  • $8.03 million for payroll and overtime costs for police, firefighters, paramedics, prison staff and law enforcement working in an Emergency Operations Center.
  • $7.70 million for equipment like radios and plume modeling technology to determine how a chemical weapon could spread through the air.
  • $9.66 million for supplies including chargers and batteries for smartphones, traffic cones, defibrillators, motorcycle helmets and extension cords.
  • $10.07 million to cover contracts for radio programming, transportation services, a credentialing system and parking lot leasing.
  • $5.12 million in reimbursements to other law enforcement agencies who are pitching in to help like the Pennsylvania State Police and county bomb squads.
  • $1.02 million for miscellaneous expenses like port-a-potty rentals, car rentals and fuel.
  • $550,000 to pay consultants and private security to bolster the overall security presence.
  • $76,000 for travel and food for law enforcement working during convention events.

A spokesman for Mayor Jim Kenney said how the city spends the funds could be adjusted as the event nears. Some of the equipment being purchased for the convention, the city will get to keep for future events, officials said.

The convention is taking place July 25-28 with most major events happening at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City. The Democratic National Committee will choose its nominee for president during the convention.

The city was granted the money since the convention is designated a National Special Security Event by the Department of Homeland Security. Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia last September was given the same classification.

Like the pope's visit, the U.S. Secret Service will be the lead agency coordinating security during the event.

DOJ officials awarded the City of Cleveland, host of the Republican National Convention in mid-July, a $49.9 million grant to cover similar expenses.