(WGN-AM)- The Chicago Police Department has spent at least $2.2 million to secure President Barack Obama's Kenwood residence since he was elected in November, according to documents released Monday by the city.
The department will be reimbursed by the federal government for more than $1.5 million of those costs. But the expense of protecting the president's home since his January inauguration -- nearly $650,000 through the end of April -- is not currently scheduled to be paid back, according to the city's response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Tribune.
The security expense comes at a time when the city's general budget woes have meant that hiring in the Police Department has slowed and command staff officers are taking unpaid days off. Mayoral spokeswoman Jacquelyn Heard said she believed the money would be repaid.
Heard declined to go into specifics on the costs of Obama's security "for obvious reasons," but said, "We've been assured that the federal government will fully reimburse us for all costs associated with protecting President Obama in Chicago."
Darrin Blackford, U.S. Secret Service spokesman, said it is "not equipped or funded" to provide reimbursement. "We rely heavily on the assistance we receive from our law-enforcement partners."
According to the city, the cost to secure Obama's home between Nov. 5, 2008, and Jan. 18 was more than $1.5 million -- most of which the city "expects" to be reimbursed because of his status as president-elect.
Police Department spokesman Roderick Drew said the department spent the money to pay officers overtime to secure only the Obama residence, but he could not go into detail about how many officers were assigned to the house. When asked about additional costs at the Obama home since April, Drew said he could not comment.
(The Chicago Tribune contributed to this story)
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