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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Latest RNC security expense: charter buses for officer transport



Delegates might not be the only people riding charter buses during the Republican National Convention. Police officers also would be catching the buses if the Tampa City Council says yes on Thursday to a $278,432 contract with SP Plus Gameday, the RNC’s official transportation provider.

Here’s how it would work, according to Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy: Tampa officers, Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies and out-of-town law enforcement officers would drive to an undisclosed location for an initial briefing. Charter buses would take them to downtown staging areas and pick them up at the end of their shifts, returning them to the initial location for a debriefing.

If approved, the money for the contract would come from the city’s $50 million federal grant for convention security. If you're keeping track, this would bring the non-salary parts of the city's convention spending to more than $15.25 million. The city plans to spend another $24.85 million paying, housing and feeding a coalition of 3,000 to 4,000 local and out-of-town officers to work the convention.

Update: With Mary Mulhern absent, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the contract.

[Last modified: Thursday, July 19, 2012 10:36am]


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