Earlier today Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has hired some new security to guard him – at a cost of nearly $74 per hour for each of two guards. What’s more, Abele will also be tooling around in a GMC Yukon XL, a behemoth of an SUV that can accommodate nine passengers, in case Abele feels the need to bring an entourage with him as he’s tooling around the county.
Starting earlier this month, Abele hired two pricey private security guards from a California-based firm to provide protection for 50 hours of work a week. Included in the deal is the use of a GMC Yukon XL, a full-size SUV with a sticker price starting at $50,000.
Gavin de Becker & Associates — which has provided security for former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and actress Jennifer Lawrence — is being paid $73.75 an hour for each of the two guards.
Taxpayers will pick up the cost for the first $100,000 for Abele’s security detail under the no-bid contract. That should cover three months.
Abele spokesman Nate Holton said the millionaire county exec would then cover the rest of the annual tab, which should run to about $300,000 for the final nine months. Abele would also pay for the two guards to provide security during nonwork hours.
The fact that it took two years for County Executive Abele to finally pick a security operation to provide him protection is odd, but even more odd is the fact that Abele either wasn’t warned – or doesn’t care about the optics of hiring a security firm to the stars to provide his protection. Chris Abele may have a very legitimate need for a security detail to provide him protection, but I have a hard time believing he couldn’t find a local firm or law enforcement agency to do the job.
Capper has his own take on Chris Abele’s expensive security service over at Cognitive Dissidence.