Policing Trump Tower protests cost VPD more than $100K

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Policing Trump Tower protests cost VPD more than $100K

The Vancouver Police Department says last week's public protests during the Trump Tower opening ceremony in Vancouver cost the force more than $100,000.

Const. Jason Doucette told media Monday that the VPD's effort was limited to ensuring people safely had the chance to have their voices heard, while minimizing the impact on traffic and business in the area.

"Our mandate wasn't to set up a perimeter around the hotel and prevent people from coming. It was an open business, they choose who goes in and who goes out," said Doucette.

More than a hundred people demonstrated in front of the Trump Tower in the 1100-block of West Georgia Street throughout the day on Tuesday.

A second demonstration took place nearby, where dozens of protestors rallied at Jack Poole Plaza and marched to the U.S. Consulate.

The Trump Tower was cordoned off during the grand opening, and many Vancouver police were inside the building, along with U.S. Secret Service agents, RCMP members, and private security.

The RCMP and Secret Service were primarily responsible for the security of U.S. President Donald Trump's sons, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, who were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony inside the Trump Tower ballroom.

Doucette said the cost may go up or down a couple thousand dollars, but it totalled $105,000 for the day.

"On hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money," said Doucette. "Are there other [demonstrations] that are more expensive and cheaper? There might be, but at the end of the year, that's when we'll have a real vision of how this has affected our budget."

"We do hundreds of these a year," he said.

The RCMP hasn't said what their cost was for the event, suggesting an Access to Information and Privacy request would be needed to get that information.

RCMP Cpl. Janelle Shoihet said last week that the cost of providing security for international dignitaries, like the Trump Brothers, is included in the RCMP's existing operational budget.

To Doucette's knowledge, Trump Tower didn't contribute anything to the VPD policing costs associated with its grand opening, beyond the cost of its private security.

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