Los Angeles taxpayers paid for airline tickets, hotel stays, car rentals, and meals, according to detailed expense reports obtained by NBC News

By Eric Leonard and Andrew Blankstein
Published at 11:42 AM PDT on Sep 7, 2018 | Updated at 5:44 PM PDT on Sep 7, 2018

Armed, plain-clothes LAPD officers were dispatched to California cities outside of Los Angeles at least a dozen times to provide security for U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris at public events, media appearances, and a party.

LA taxpayers paid for airline tickets, hotel stays, car rentals, and meals, according to detailed expense reports obtained by NBC News. The total cost of the trips, not including the officers’ overtime, topped $28,000.

The LAPD routinely provides security for dignitaries and officials visiting LA, but a senior retired department official said the courtesy extended to Sen. Harris for her travels to other cities was unprecedented.

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office said the Mayor was, “unaware,” of this unusual arrangement until July, when it was shut down by new LAPD Chief Michel Moore.

“It was not until Chief Moore was sworn in, conducted a new assessment of the threat, determined that this arrangement was no longer needed, and informed Mayor Garcetti, that the mayor became aware of the state-wide detail,” Garcetti spokesman Alex Comisar wrote in an email Wednesday.

Garcetti said former LAPD Chief Charlie Beck was solely responsible for the program.

“Chief of Police Charlie Beck assigned a security detail for US Senator Kamala Harris shortly before she was sworn into office in 2017, based on a threat assessment he believed to be credible,” said LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein. “Funding for the detail was provided by the Department budget.”

Beck’s signature appears on many of the LAPD documents authorizing the trips, including one that occured just 10 days after Harris was sworn-in to the Senate, in which two officers flew to Oakland to go with Harris to a, “retirement event,” for a California Department of Justice official.

NBC4 asked LAPD to contact Beck for comment. No response had been received at the time of publication.

To read expanded article and view documents, click here.