A review of city financial documents by The Oregonian/OregonLive has found that the cost to Portland taxpayers for security guards at City Hall has jumped more than fivefold in less than two years.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Thursday that in 2016, the annual cost for City Hall guards and the mayor’s security detail was $175,811. This year’s security costs, by contrast, ballooned to $847,034.
Documents say the main reasons for the increases include more protests, uncivil outbursts, city business disruption incidents and enhanced needs identified by Mayor Ted Wheeler’s bodyguards.
The increases coincide with Wheeler’s time in office. He was sworn in Jan. 1, 2017.
In a statement, Wheeler’s office said the increased spending is to protect elected officials, employees, dignitaries and other visitors to City Hall, and is necessary.
Wheeler considered hiring police but said private security is cheaper.
Source: The Associated Press