Good Question: Who picks up the tab for city security?

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — This Good Question is about what’s going on around the old building in downtown Rochester that suddenly started to crumble.

A month ago the side of a 107-year-old building, the old Richford Hotel off Elm and Chestnut Streets, buckled and started to fall off. A piece of it came loose and crashed down onto the street below. That was on April 21.

Every day since then much of the area has been shut down with city security on patrol around the clock. A viewer said:

“You guys should investigate how much the city is spending to provide security around that building that’s collapsing.”

I asked for answers from a city spokesperson. I was told "Yes, there is 24-hour/7-day-a-week coverage."

What’s that cost? "That is dependent on the individual(s) covering the site. We don’t have that information at our fingertips."

Of course, we can ask for that total once it’s done and clear. Where’s the all day and night patrol coming from? "These are security personnel who normally work city buildings, however, shifts were added to cover the need."

Who’s picking up the tab? "The owner will be billed for the costs incurred to close the street."

So none of this is on you the taxpayer. But what about other scenarios?

Here’s what I got from RPD on that:

“Private events such as marathons, privately run festivals, etc, reimburse the RPD for expenses. City hosted events such as parades and city sponsored events/festivals, are paid for by the City and RPD. Protests and rallies, are typically exempt from paying for Police services and are paid for by RPD as part of our mission to protect 1st amendment rights. Examples of privately run festivals are Jazz Festival, Corn Hill Festival, etc. Examples of city festivals include Party in the Park, Harbor Festival, etc.”