By Greg Campbell, DCNF
A Colorado sheriff is angry at the cost and inconvenience of providing beefed up security for Vice President Joe Biden, who visited Aspen last weekend to speak at an invitation-only event sponsored by a private equity firm.
Biden traveled in a 40-car motorcade along a 70-mile route between Aspen and the Eagle County airport. Sheriffs’ deputies were tapped to block roads along two major arteries, including an interstate highway, tying up traffic and racking up a hefty bill for overtime.
Sheriffs offices also provided helicopter support along the route.
Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo told the Aspen Daily News that he intends to send an invoice to the company that invited Biden to the annual event, Forstmann Little & Co., once he tallies the cost of “the complementary services they received.”
“The responsible thing to do when big corporations invite him here is to consider the impact not only financially on a small county but also everyone here,” DiSalvo told the Daily News, adding that he called a company representative with his complaints and asked for the county to be reimbursed.
“I called her more or less to tell her what an impact it was,” he said, adding that her response was “cool.”
The impact wasn’t just on Pitkin County where Aspen is located. Neighboring Garfield County loaned four deputies to DiSalvo’s “all hands on deck” roster of employees who were called in to cover Biden’s visit. Garfield County also had additional deputies on duty to help man barricades and close roads.
All told, Biden’s visit — during which he made no public appearances — involved assistance from nine law enforcement agencies, the Daily News reported.
Biden’s motorcade disrupted traffic on I-70, Colorado’s already-congested east-west artery through the mountains, the town of Glendale Springs during rush hour and Highway 82 to and from Aspen.
“They locked up Highway 82 on the ground and in the air for a couple of hours,” DiSalvo said.
“I guess I have a beef with the person who invited him here,” he told the Daily News. “It’s a huge impact on a small community and day-to-day life.”
The Aspen Daily News described the annual Forstmann Little event as an off-the-record discussion on world events by big names in politics, business and entertainment. Biden is the biggest attendee in recent years, the paper reported.
Special thanks: DCNF