The Bel Air Police Department will be paid approximately $1,500 for assisting with security at Tuesday afternoon's "House of Cards" filming along Williams Street, Chief Leo Matrangola said Wednesday.
According to Matrangola, the department provided five officers at the filming location for five hours between 2 and 7 p.m.
Scenes that were shot included the arrival of a presidential motorcade at a recently restored home in the 100 block of Williams Street. Vehicles made up to look like Virginia State Police cruisers were used as motorcade escorts, suggesting that west Bel Air was actually portraying a town in Virginia.
The street was cordoned off for several blocks during the filming, but a handful of townsfolk stood around and watched.
Matrangola said the department and the production company agreed to a contractual price of $62 per hour per officer. At five officers for five hours each, that comes out to $1,550 total.
"We consulted with Havre de Grace [Police] and the Sheriff's Office" on the cost, Matrangola said, explaining the per hour rate covers both salary, pension and related costs.
"We were told to expect to be paid within a week; we felt comfortable with it," he added.
Last year, for the Netflix TV show's first season, downtown Havre de Grace was used as a stand-in for Gaffney, S.C., the home of the character played by Kevin Spacey, Rep. Frank Underwood. Gaffney, incidentally, is a real town.
Some outdoor scenes were also shot last year along Route 155 northwest of Havre de Grace. The production is based in Harford County, with an office in Edgewood and a sound stage inside a Joppa area industrial building.
Prior to shooting on Williams Street, some scenes were shot a few blocks away at Liriodendron mansion on Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Matrangola said the police department did not assist the production company's security staff at Liriodendron, "because that was on private property." Though not on a town street, the mansion and surrounding grounds and parking lots are owned by the Harford County government.
A staff member with the Harford County Office of Economic Development, who has been working with the "House of Cards" location staff to find suitable places in the county to film, said Tuesday that another local shoot will take place next week at an undisclosed location in Edgewood.
Though several town officials and business owners have said they welcome having "House of Cards" in Bel Air, Matrangola was a bit more circumspect about the impact on his department.
"We have enough special events," he said. "The wine festival and festival of the arts are coming up, and I also have to work in training. We have a lot to do already."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun