A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

The city of Detroit spends $1.35 million per year on a department that provides security for Mayor Dave Bing and his wife. Detroit has 16 police officers serving as bodyguards that work in shifts of four to protect the mayor, and two more officers that each work on a 12-hour shift to protect the First Lady, according to the city of Detroit’s Executive Protection Unit.

The city of Detroit released the information after a Freedom of Information Act request from Michigan Capitol Confidential. The $1.35 million costs include only base hourly wages and not any overtime.

The Executive Protection Unit is part of the city’s police department. According to city documents, the city also provides one bodyguard to Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh, and has twice provided bodyguard protection for Robert Bobb, the state-appointed emergency financial manager at the Detroit Public Schools. Those costs were not included in the FOIA response.

The city pays $1.02 million in base pay for the 16 members of the executive protection team that protect the Mayor and the two members who protect the First Lady. The city also pays another $335,790 in base salary for the five administrative members of the Executive Protection Unit.

The City of Chicago acknowledged that it also has bodyguards for its mayor, but didn’t respond to e-mails asking for specifics.

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