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$2,000 sought for police security for mayor while on family vacation in San Diego

FamilySheila DixonGabrielle Giffords

Baltimore police are requesting about $2,000 to send an officer to California to provide security for Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on her family vacation next week.

Officer Kyle E. Gooden, who is on the mayor's executive protection team, is requesting the Board of Estimates reimburse him about $1,900 for his expenses on the Aug. 20-26 trip to San Diego, Calif. The department is also asking for about $150 to cover the cost of a rental vehicle.

The spending panel is expected to approve the expense Wednesday.

Mayoral spokesman Ian Brennan would not say whether Gooden was the only officer accompanying the mayor or whether other expenses would later come before the board.

"It is my understanding that the mayor is spending time with her family," Brennan said. "We don't comment on security procedures related to the mayor's travel."

Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi acknowledged the mayor could decline to use executive protection, but said the police department's intelligence section determines how much security is needed for public officials.

"We have a very high-profile mayor," he said. "Baltimore has issues of violence. We all saw what happened with Congresswoman [Gabrielle] Giffords." 

Gugliemli added that former mayors Sheila Dixon and Martin O'Malley had police officers accompany them on family vacations.

In 2009, the Board of Estimates approved $4,500 for costs associated with sending two police officers to accompany Dixon on a summer vacation in Miami.

"These officers aren't going there to sit on the beach or visit the restaurants," Gugliemli said. "They're going to work."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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