Boston police worked 1,675 overtime hours during the handful of days Prince William and Princess Kate of Wales visited the city for an award ceremony, a brief meeting with President Biden and a welcome event on City Hall Plaza.
Those overtime hours cost the department $105,267, with Friday, Dec. 2, clocking in as the most expensive day as Prince William met with President Biden at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester, according to public records obtained by MassLive.The data offers a partial picture of how much taxpayers paid for the royal visit.
Records detailing how much the city paid for the welcome event at City Hall Plaza — which featured a musical performance, multiple large tents, and lighting equipment — were not immediately available through a public records request submitted at the start of December.
Special events happen all the time in Boston, from Red Sox games to the Boston Marathon. All of those — especially when there are multiple events in one day — often require officers to work overtime. But it is an area of police spending that has come under scrutiny over the past several years for what critics say is an often bloated part of the department’s budget.
“I look at this as foreign dignitaries came into the city, and Boston police provided security to them,” Boston police spokesman Sgt. Det. John Boyle said of the overtime incurred as a result of the royal visit.
Prince William and Princess Kate arrived in Boston on Nov. 30 at Logan International Airport, where they were greeted by Gov. Charlie Baker.
After the royal couple lunched with the Republican governor, the pair made their way to City Hall, where they met privately with Mayor Michelle Wu before the City Hall Plaza welcome event. The royal couple later attended a Boston Celtics game at TD Garden with Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Wu.
Boston Police officers worked 405 hours of overtime on Nov. 30 at a cost of $26,531, according to public records.
The next day, Dec. 1, Prince William and Princess Kate traveled to Greentown Labs in Somerville and the non-profit Roca in Chelsea. Boston police officers worked 203 hours of overtime that day at a cost of $12,827.
Boston police worked the most overtime hours of the trip on Friday, Dec. 2 — 1,057 hours at a cost of $62,278 — the same day that Prince William and President Biden met and the royal couple held the Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony at MGM Music Hall near Fenway Park in Boston.
Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association President Larry Calderone said the union did not hear any complaints from officers with the royals in town.
“Our officers enjoy the dignitary visits; they are happy to be a part of protecting and serving the dignitaries that come to town. That’s what we do,” he said in an interview where he also pushed back on efforts to condemn or cut the amount of money that is spent on overtime. “We feel it’s part of our job to make sure that we keep dignitaries safe when they come to the city of Boston.”
For their part, Prince William thanked the residents of Massachusetts, Baker, and First Lady Lauren Baker for their “warm welcome in Boston.”
“On this, our first overseas visit since the death of my grandmother, I would like to thank the people of Massachusetts and particularly of Boston for their many tributes paid to the late Queen,” Prince William said in a Twitter message. “She remembered her 1976 bicentennial visit with great fondness.”
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