Proposition E: Security budget going public

The Police Department will be forced to reveal how much it spends each year to protect city officials and visiting dignitaries.

The passage of Proposition E means the department will have to include in its proposed annual budget a line that details the costs of the security for officials.

Newsom and police Chief George Gascón opposed the measure, saying it would shift an important job from the Police Department to politicians looking to score points. 

In December, Gascón said $2,072,597 was spent on dignitary protection in fiscal year 2008-09. That amount was not specifically broken down for Newsom’s personal detail.

Some of the $2 million also paid for officers to work with the Secret Service during presidential visits and for protection of other city officials.

Now, the Police Department will have to budget the amount of money it plans to spend on protection before the beginning of the next fiscal year.

That budget will then be approved by the Police Commission, submitted by the mayor and approved by the Board of Supervisors.

Gascón, however, said it’s impossible to estimate how much money will be needed to provide dignitary protection. Visits from heads of state and other threats are not known a year in advance.

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