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Border Wall Security Cost San Diego More Than $1 Million

Border wall prototypes near the border with Tijuana, Mexico in San Diego. Oct...

Credit: Jean Guerrero/KPBS

Above: Border wall prototypes near the border with Tijuana, Mexico in San Diego. Oct. 26, 2017.

Border Wall Security Cost San Diego More Than $1 Million

GUEST:

Greg Moran, investigative reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department incurred nearly $900,000 in added costs and the San Diego Police Department incurred more than a quarter-million dollars in added costs to patrol and secure the Otay Mesa border area during the month long construction of eight border wall prototypes by would-be government contractors, it was reported today.

The added costs to the city and county, mostly to pay overtime wages to deputies and officers, added up to $1,175,840 for security at the border wall project site, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. That was on top of the more than $1.26 million the agencies spent on regular wages for officers and deputies.

The Union-Tribune obtained the financial information through a California Public Records Act request. It showed that the sheriff's department spent $764,278 on overtime wages between Sep. 26 and Oct. 26, more than $118,000 on chain-link fences, barriers and signs and more than $15,000 on unidentified services, supplies and an environmental consultant.

RELATED: Homeland Security Marks Completion Of Border Wall Prototypes

In total, the sheriff's department paid $715,000 in regular wages and $897,942 in overtime wages and other extra costs, for a total of more than $1.6 million, according to the newspaper. The police department $548,446 in regular wages and $277,898 in overtime, services and supplies, bringing the city's total cost to $826,345.

The Department of Homeland Security warned local law enforcement before the project began of the possibility of large-scale protests that could turn violent. But there were no demonstrations during the month long construction.

A county spokeswoman told the Union-Tribune the costs were worth it and that county officials "are convinced that this uniformed presence" and temporary fencing eliminated any planned protest encampments.

The border wall project on federal land in Otay Mesa was designed to give federal officials a chance to test several different prototypes built by prospective government contractors seeking to build President Donald Trump's promised barrier.

City officials told the Union-Tribune it was unlikely the city would be reimbursed by the federal government, while the county spokeswoman could not tell the newspaper whether the county would be reimbursed.

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