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Chicago Police NATO Overtime Bill Nearly $15 Million, City Asks Feds To Pay Up

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CHICAGO POLICE NATO OVERTIME SECURITY COSTS
Chicago police department mounted patrol monitors the area as protesters march through the city during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh) | AP

A month out from Chicago's hosting of the NATO summit, one question has continued to loom over its still-young legacy: How much did securing the global event cost the city?

On Friday, the city offered up a preliminary answer to that question: The price tag for the 3,100 Chicago police officers who worked overtime during the summit is $14.6 million, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Further, the city requested nearly $1 million in reimbursements for Chicago Fire Department overtime.

In announcing the overtime costs Friday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel reiterated that he was pleased with how the city handled its NATO hosting duties, even as more bills are still coming down the pike.

"We have turned the page from what happened in the past, and Chicago has become the new gold standard of what to do and not what not to do," Emanuel said in a news conference, WLS reports.

Chicago officials are now asking the federal government and the event's host committee to reimburse the city for the costs it incurred by hosting the event last month.

According to the Associated Press, the city has sent letters to a number of federal agencies requesting the reimbursement. Congress previously appropriated $7.5 in funding to help the city pay for the NATO summit.

World Business Chicago, the summit's planning and fundraising group, raised about $33 million in private funds for the event and previously pledged $19 million of that amount to help the city cover any costs that the federal government doesn't pick up, the Chicago Tribune reports.

According to the Tribune, the group has a balance of about $18 million in donations remaining after spending some $13 million on its own activities during the summit.

Chicago officials have estimated its total cost of hosting the event at $55 million and, next month, the city is expected to ask for additional reimbursement for its costs in other areas.

The mayor has previously stated that Chicago taxpayers would not be on the hook for any costs associated with the summit and insisted that private donors and federal dollars would cover the event's price tag.

Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton reiterated that point to WBEZ this week.

"As we have said, taxpayers will not be responsible for NATO costs," Hamilton wrote in an email to the station. "[T]hey will be entirely borne by federal reimbursement and NATO host committee, which was funded through private donations."

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