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Newark, NJ residents are reportedly angered by the price tag that they had to put forth so that police would be paid overtime to work at Whitney Houston’s funeral. The overtime cost the city $187,000.
According to CBS New York, taxpayers are angered by it, since the price takes up five percent of the $4 million police budget. Some residents say that, while they may have loved the “I Will Always Love You” singer, they believe the family should pay some of the costs, especially since the public was not allowed anywhere near the funeral.
“I think it was a waste of time and then now we find out what happened and how she actually died, it makes you think twice saying was it worth it or not,” resident Minerva DelValle told the station.
Almost 200 officers were posted at several locations as Houston’s body arrived in Newark after her Feb. 11 death in Los Angeles. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Newark councilwoman Mildred Crump defended the use of the officers, claiming that it was for public safety. “If they had not been there someone may have been trampled, seriously hurt,” she said.
Houston was buried in Westfield, which paid its officers $9,000 in overtime. Those officers were also needed to make sure there were no injuries, an official told CBS New York.
Houston’s funeral was broadcast live by several networks and featured tributes from several celebrities, including Kevin Costner, Stevie Wonder and Clive Davis. Last week, the final coroner’s report was released, revealing that Houston did have drug paraphernalia in the hotel room where she died. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning and drugs were found in her system.