Whitney Houston’s death continues to generate headaches for New Jersey’s leading politicans. First, Governor Chris Christie was criticized for lowering the flags at state government buildings to half-staff to honor the late singer. Now, some Newark residents are unhappy that Whitney Houston’s February funeral cost the city more than $187,000 in police overtime. The figure equals roughly 5 percent of Newark’s annual police overtime budget ($4 million), reports CBS New York.
EW reached out to Newark mayor Cory Booker’s office, who said, though no formal complaint has been lodged, it’s incumbent upon him to exercise caution at such ceremonies. “As with any major event, and Ms. Houston’s funeral was an international event, our police department’s priority is to keep both citizens and visitors alike safe when they come to our city,” said Booker’s communication director Anne Torres.
Democratic councilwoman Mildred Crump agreed, telling CBS, “I was able to be witness to the thousands upon thousands of people who were desperate to attend [Houston's] service but held back by barriers and officers of the law. If they had not been there someone may have been trampled, seriously hurt.”
Indeed, for such a large-scale event as Houston’s funeral, the costs (beyond what the celebrity’s estate covers*) quickly move from intangible — crowd control, safety, security — to tangible, life-threatening even. It’s hardly the first time a departed celebrity has cost a city some cash. READ FULL STORY