By Will Jones
The Richmond Police Department spent $333,633 last year to provide 24-hour security for Mayor Dwight C. Jones.
The total reflects a substantial reduction — 59 percent — from the $816,260 spent in fiscal 2007-2008 on protection for then-Mayor L. Douglas Wilder, according to information released after a request under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
“We’ve accomplished exactly what we set out to do, which was to reduce the security detail, thereby increasing savings and reallocating personnel costs,” said Tammy D. Hawley, Jones’ press secretary.
Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood scaled back the executive-protection unit in January 2009, from nine officers to a base level of two — one supervisor and one detective.
At the time, officials predicted a saving of at least 50 percent but declined to estimate how much the unit would cost, saying it was not clear how often security concerns would prompt the need for two additional detectives.