WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office will have to double their protection efforts this week when President Donald Trump hosts the president of China for diplomatic meetings at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
Trump and President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China will meet on Thursday and Friday at Mar-a-Lago, but Jinping will stay nearly seven miles away at another resort. Still, Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said his office is prepared for the extra work.
“If there’s any civil unrest or civil disobedience, we are fully prepared with manpower and equipment to stop it immediately,” Bradshaw said. “It will stop immediately.”
West Palm Beach has grown accustomed to the frequent motorcades, Coast Guard patrols and restricted airspace that accompany Trump’s visits.
Bradshaw estimates most of the president’s weekend visits cost between $60,000 and $70,000 per day. This visit, he said, will cost twice that.
“We have gone to the same types of shifts that we have during a natural disaster,” the sheriff said, “which is 12 hour shifts and canceled vacations.”
Jinping will stay at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, located about seven miles from Mar-a-Lago. The sheriff’s office has designated a space across the street from the resort for protesters and groups of choreographed greeters cheering on the Chinese visitors.
“We’ve talked to the Chinese embassy delegation. The numbers vary. Some days they’ll tell you it could be 200, other days they said it could be as many as 2,000,” Bradshaw said.
The diplomatic meetings are expected to stay inside Mar-a-Lago, but if plans change, Bradshaw said, they will be ready.
“Yes, we do our homework and I’m not gonna share it with you,” he said. “Don’t be concerned.”
When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Mar-a-Lago, Melania Trump took the first lady of Japan to a nearby museum. According to the sheriff, they’re not expecting such excursions, but would be ready for them regardless.
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