2 sheriffs unhappy about security costs of Biden's brief visit to Aspen for private event


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ASPEN, Colorado — Two Colorado sheriffs are unhappy about the security costs of vice president Joe Biden's short weekend visit to Aspen.

Biden was in town for less than 24 hours to speak at an annual conference hosted by the private equity firm Forstmann Little & Co, the Aspen Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1paEeU9 ). His 40-car motorcade caused temporary closures Friday and Saturday along its 70-mile route from the Eagle County airport to Aspen.

Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said the visit required him to increase staffing beyond the normal three or four deputies he normally has on duty during a shift. When he questioned Forstmann Little about the cost, he said a representative referred him to the Secret Service.

When all the costs are totaled, DiSalvo said he intends to send an invoice to the firm showing the "complimentary services" they received. He said the hosts of such private events should make a donation to a local charity to offset the costs of protecting dignitaries.

"It's a huge impact on a small community and day-to-day life," he said.

Neighboring Garfield County lent four deputies to DiSalvo to help provide security. Additional deputies also helped set up roadblocks as he traveled through the county on the way to and from the airport. Biden's plane was too large to land at Aspen's airport.

Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said the bill for presidential security should be paid by the federal government.

Biden also appeared in Denver on Friday at a round table on domestic violence and at a fundraiser for former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who is challenging Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in the state's 6th Congressional District.

Information from: Aspen Daily News, http://www.aspendailynews.com

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