KARK’s Mitch McCoy reported last night that the new police escort service for Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr.has piled up almost $7,000 in overtime in the first three weeks of service.
This is in addition to the salaries of the officers, who’ll eventually be chosen from the LRPD major crimes unit. When you consider $50,000 or so per officer (not counting city overhead for insurance, retirement and other costs) plus $100,000 a year in overtime if the early experience continues and the cost of leasing a new Chevy Tahoe ($8,000 or so a year), you’re talking somewhere in the neighborhood of a quarter-million a year in security costs. Police Chief Keith Humphrey has said it’s a prudent decision, though Mark Stodola had no security service during his 12 years as mayor.
McCoy’s article quotes the mayor’s office:
Mayor Scott takes very seriously the City’s long-standing budget problems that began prior to his administration. That is why he is leading efforts to right-size Little Rock’s government and protect and advance the City’s fiscal future. While it’s not something he asked for, Mayor Scott, at the professional recommendations of two different police chiefs, accepted a security detail for his safety. He is grateful to the Little Rock Police Department for working as efficiently as possible to provide the detail and keep staffing at a level that is appropriate.