Newark residents will have to cover the cost of Whitney’s Houston’s four-hour funeral policing in amount of $187,000.
It was a touching farewell watched by millions across the world, but it is the residents of Whitney Houston’s hometown Newark, New Jersey, who will be covering the high security costs.
Taxpayers will have to foot the $187,000 bill in police overtime, which amounts to 5% of the city’s $4 million annual budget.
Whitney Houston’s family brought the singer back to Newark, where thousands of people lined the streets to pay their respects and celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey attended the service.
Nearly 200 police officers were stationed at the New Baptist Church, the funeral home and a family gathering at the Newark Club afterwards, reports CBS2.
In Westfield, where Whitney Houston was buried in a private ceremony, $9,000 was spent in police overtime, according to the overtime figures released to CBS2.
A Newark official said that the cost was unavoidable to ensure public safety.
“I was able to be witness to the thousands upon thousands of people who were desperate to attend service but held back by barriers and officers of the law.
“If they had not been there someone may have been trampled, seriously hurt,” Democratic Councilwoman Mildred Crump told CBS2.
However, some residents say that although they adored Whitney Houston they are unhappy about having to fork out for the costs, especially as the public were not allowed anywhere near it reports BCS2.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous when you have people who are unemployed and homeless, people walking up and down the streets,” Newark resident Quincy Ruffin said in the report.
Quincy Ruffin told CBS2 that Whitney Houston’s family should be responsible for covering the costs.
“If they wanted it to go that far, do that much, they should have been the ones providing for it.”
Whitney Houston, 48, was found dead in the bathroom of her room at the Beverly Hilton hotel on February 11.
According to a final autopsy report released this week, Whitney Houston had cocaine throughout her system and detectives found white powdery substances and a spoon with white residue in the room.