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Council questions use of Mayor's personal security detail
By Tom Lehman

Updated Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 5:29pm

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Segments from Wednesday's police department budget hearing

Mayor Williams' security detail came under question at Wednesday's budget hearing for the Wilmington Police Department.

Police Chief Christine Dunning says the number of patrol officers in the mayor's security detail has been scaled back from its original total of five officers. But she notes that the actual number of patrolmen being used for that purpose can vary.

"There might be one, and there might be an event where there's a lot of people, and you may have up to three," Dunning says.

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Dunning says the security detail has already incurred more than $25,000 in overtime and comp time costs. During the budget hearing, she noted that the projected cost of the detail for Fiscal Year 2014 would be around $49,000. The police department has proposed a budget of $54 million in FY 2014.

Those funds are taken from the department's Special Events Overtime allocations.

She also noted that those units assigned to the detail also provide additional security at the City/County building. The department's presentation states that during business hours one officer is permanently assigned to the Mayor's office while a second officer is "pulled on a rotating basis."

"There was some concerns about his security along with security inside the City Council building, especially with the recent courthouse shooting that we had," she says.

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Councilman Mike Brown, who heads the Public Safety committee, voiced his opposition to the number of patrol officers being used in the security detail.

"The Mayor wants to have security personnel, one person, that's fine. Take the other four and put them back in a specialized unit or back on patrol," Brown says.

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Williams' Chief of Staff, John Matlusky defended the additional role for members of the detail.

"There are incidents in the building, there have also been some situations where the officers have been called to constituent services and other departments," Matlusky says.

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