Obama visit costs Maine communities at least $29K | News

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Obama visit costs Maine communities at least $29K
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - President Barack Obama's campaign swing through Portland and South Portland drew thousands of supporters, but it also cost area police departments thousands of dollars for overtime.

Portland spent nearly $21,000 in overtime associated with the president's visit, while South Portland spent about $8,000 in overtime.

Assistant Portland Police Chief Vern Malloch called the president's visit "an honor."

South Portland Police Chief Ed Googins also said it was honor even though the overtime puts a strain on the budget. But he noted that other extraordinary circumstances, including poor weather, can also cost the city money.

Maine taxpayer advocate Steven Scharf tells The Portland Press Herald the federal government should foot the local police overtime bill for presidential visits, no matter whether the president is a Democrat or Republican.

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