Locals Say Considering How They Were Treated, The Cost Is Hardly Justified

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Whitney Houston’s funeral is costing the city of Newark tens of thousands of dollars in police overtime.

And some taxpayers say as much as they loved the pop star they’re not happy about footing the high security costs, reports CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

Houston’s family brought her back to Newark, where thousands of people lined the streets to get a glimpse of the hearse carrying her body. Fans even tried to get close to the church where her private funeral was held.

It was a farewell to a beloved star that touched the hearts of many, but it also cost the city of Newark more than $187,000 in police overtime, representing 5 percent of the $4 million budget for the year.

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous when you have people who are unemployed and homeless, people walking up and down the streets,” Newark resident Quincy Ruffin said.

Ruffin said Houston’s family should have paid for the officers.

“If they wanted it to go that far, do that much, they should have been the ones providing for it,” Ruffin said.

Others said what makes them more angry is the public wasn’t allowed anywhere near the funeral that attracted big stars.

“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 said.

Nearly 200 police officers were stationed at the New Baptist Church, the funeral home and a family gathering at the Newark Club afterwards. One city official said that the overtime cost was necessary because of public safety.

“I was able to be witness to the thousands upon thousands of people who were desperate to attend service but held back by barriers and officers of the law,” said Democratic Councilwoman Mildred Crump. “If they had not been there someone may have been trampled, seriously hurt.”

In Westfield, where Houston was laid to rest, $9,000 in police overtime was spent, a necessary cost to make sure no one got hurt, officials said.

The Newark Police Department released the overtime figures to CBS 2. Mayor Cory Booker and the police director were unavailable for comment on Friday.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

Comments (220)
  1. Dona says:

    Let our governor himself a for it. He had to show his face and make the decisions to let all of this happen let him pay , WHY should the taxpayers pay??????

  2. J says:

    You are all so boring with your racial jokes. Really all of this has nothing to do with Whitney and how she died, or whatever. Her family/estate SHOULD pay the bill. I have a problem with the disgusting assholes on here who use every topic to spew their racial crap. And for this website to allow it. Comments for what? Does anyone really care what anyone has to say about any damned topic on this site? Nope, it’s just a forum for all of the idiots. Get rid of all these stupid comment boards. Hiding behind computers like racist, cowardly punks. You are really something else to sit there thinking that you are better than anyone else with your smelly, cave-dwelling selves, bringing up old, tired racial slang jokes, etc. Oh, you are so funny and witty. Not.

  3. Jess says:

    Hello, tidy internet site you’ve presently.

  4. Sally says:

    Last week, Mayor Booker called the owner of the Devils a sheister for not living up to their deal, although a judge ruled otherwise. Will Booker call out the Houston family the same way?

  5. Dani says:

    HER FAMILY should have paid for the security POINT BLANK! Like so what she was famous, is the CITY gonna foot the bill for the residents who have funerals? I dont understand, like they fired police officers because they didnt have enough money PAY them their regular salary, but you PAYING THEM OVERTIME because she celeb decided to get high and die to be buried, like WTF!

  6. Bill says:

    Why didn’t they ask the local gangs to provide security? They’re probably better armed than the police.

  7. jay Pee says:

    The Glamour girl from Newark-HA What a joke; Let her family pay for it. Or her dealer

  8. markchristopher says:

    Just have the druggie’s estate pay for it. I’m sure there’s a huge fight going on for her money. Someone probably has a copyright on her name for T-shirts, like the mother in the Treyvon Martin case.

  9. One who loved her Music says:

    Bill her estate … it’s earning money from the sales and airplay of her music

  10. James says:


  11. Pat says:

    The bill for this should go to the Houston family, not the residents of the City. Or perhaps to the church that agreed to host this. The citizens never agreed to pay this and the expense wasn’t as a result of their own actions. Let the ones who caused it pay for it.

  12. BOSFOB says:

    Who’s stupid enough to believe they left 250K worth of jewelry on the corpse to be buried? haha And they’re planning to auction off some items already – it’s all about the money, always has been. Value $$$ aver life.

  13. BOSFOB says:

    Who really believes they left $250K worth of jewelry on the corpse to be buried?

    1. Wendy says:

      Most of the fools commenting on this..lol Im surprised no one has tried to dig her up.LMAO…………

  14. imani says:

    I really don’t care what the reason being used here to justify this action is……..If Cissy Houston can come on a talk show and say her daughter wasn’t broke than she need to come up with the money to pay for her ENTIRE funeral….And another thing…look how dirty they did The Whigham Funeral home………they know good and damn well it was Nippy INC security that sold those pics to the press that’s why they are not pursuing it but yet they threw a life long friend under the bus. With folks literally spitting on her in the street and never opened their mouths to confirm that they at least believe these people to be innocent. Even after the death threats…………I have no respect for church folks who sit up and shout and spit in the name of Jesus and treat their brother like shyt on shoes……I believe in Karma and the Houston Family can either man up or feel the wrath of what they have sowed in the wake of Whitneys death………and this has nothing to do with Nippy she’s resting in peace now……..Im done…….

  15. BOSFOB says:

    The Mayor or was it Congressman was in favor of Lowering the Flag in Honor (reaaly?) of Houston, so let him pay the OT costs. She was a singer for chrissake, not worthy of gesture of lowering the flag. You Jersey folks should have protested!

  16. Scott L Desselle says:

    Who approved the Overtime?? This is the person you should be upset with. If the family asked for this they should pay, if they did not then who made the arrangements for this much police presence at a funeral? This seems more like a management problem and the tax payers have the right demand an explanation for this.

  17. D. Sohn says:

    Everyone says Chris Christie’s weight doesn’t matter, but I believe it’s impairing his judgement. A man who cannot control his personal demons has no place telling others how to live! Why not spend $187,000 on bumper stickers that say “Crack is Whack?”

    1. oberon123456 says:

      I don’t even know what this statement means. Try using some basic, standard English.

  18. cm says:

    i’m stunned at some of the comments about police being unnecessary for an event this large. can you really be that clueless? do you have any idea what can go wrong without crowd control? people can get trampled to death.

    yes, security should have been paid for by whitney’s estate. but it would have been FAR more costly to let a crowd disaster happen, and then have to pay for years of litigation afterward.

  19. srw says:

    Befpre it goes up their nose…. make the estate pay.

  20. SomeDude68 says:

    The Article brings up a valid point. Well done.

  21. Steve says:

    Whitney Houston’s estate was worth 20 million dollars before she died. Let her estate pay for this. I don’t give a crap if she was a celebrity. It doesn’t get her out from paying. For the people complaining about the dollar amount of overtime, you need to remember the police are under union contract. The union contract will stipulate how overtime is paid.

  22. Beachguy53 says:

    But she gave back so much to the community – lol.

  23. jnsesq says:

    The outrage is that given the demographic it was necessary for that kind of armed presence. That’s not the cops’ fault,. Look in the mirror, Newark.

  24. Paul Begala says:

    I think we all know by now that anytime you have a lot of pavement monkeys in one area, you better have a he|| of a lot of police.

  25. bvdon says:

    Maybe I’m wrong but didn’t Whitney pay huge amounts in property taxes every year she lived in that area? Yea…. I am sure she had to pay more than her fair share of taxes. You can’t have your cake and eat it too people…. you’re community enjoyed the largesse while she was alive and now that she is gone there may be a high cost to the scene…. it’s only fair when you take it all into account.

    I am a white conservative that uses logic. Thank you.

  26. Sparkle says:

    Stop being ignorant or people might call you a bigot. Everyone in Newark has to pay about 50 cents. That’s it. That’s less than a postage stamp!

  27. BeeKaay says:

    Typical celebrities.

    They don’t allow the public to benefit by allowing the public to see the funeral but they want the public to pay.

    They are just leeches and useless.

  28. selena brunson-banks says:

    That is the stupid send the bill to the family.

  29. oberon123456 says:

    If all those good citizens had not come out for the funeral, all of that security would not have been necessary. It sounds like they are paying for exactly what they wanted.

  30. GetReal20122 says:

    I guess it’s official. Americans are the world’s biggest whiners! And I’ll bet the people whining and complaining now were amongst those who were proud to say that one of the world’s best singers was from their hometown. Only in America…

  31. kimdi01 says:

    What was the need for 200 police officers? What were the organizers of the funeral fearing that they would need that much security? Did they fear a drug war now that some “pushers” would see how much their annual take would decrease now thatone of their biggest customers was no longer there to continue buying?
    I would suggest that the taxpayers demand to see an accounting for the money. That total seems a little far fecthed to me. How many people are lining their pockets over this?
    Secondly, I woul demand that the bill be sent to the estate and sent only once. If the payment was refused by the executor of the estate, then the city lawyers should file suit against the estate for payment. I’m guessing the value of the drugs in her house would cover the cost.

    1. GetReal20122 says:

      Wow. So much hate. No wonder Newark needed extra security.

  32. Miss Hall says:

    This is way too much money. Her estate should offer to offset some of the cost, and local businesses. Why should tax payers take that hit in the down economy. However, the funeral certainly brought in other revenue to the area. The Florist, Car Services, Hotels, Restaurants etc., all made money off of the influx to Newark and the surrounding area.

  33. theotherhanddude says:

    A parting gift from the deceased to the people of Newark.

  34. Jakcie Smith says:

    Know you place people. Those stars that went to the funeral do not want to see your ugly faces or be close enough to smell. They are better than you and are privileged. Don’t forget they are Democrats mostly so vote for Democrats and be good little serfs because in the grand scheme of thinks you are worthless and prove it voting Democratic over and over. They own you.

  35. Police look at OT especially for an easy event like this like a hungry fox looks at a chicken. This was like shooting fish in a barrel. By the way this will bump up their pensions as well so the cost in the long run will be double or triple. But they are heroes

  36. ben says:

    If our culture is going to idolize celebrities then we ought to be responsible for their protection.

  37. Elliott Carlin says:

    remember your governor justifying the flags at half-mast becuase they did it for Sinatra? Wonder if they picked up his tab too.

  38. NJ-Joe says:

    What does the Mayor have to say about this? Didn’t he see this coming?

  39. Don says:

    $187,00 in overtime? Good lord, how many officers were there. 500? I am sorry, but it is obvious someone is doing a little overtime-inflating here. There is no way “nearly 200 officers” should be getting paid almost $200000 in overtime.

  40. Dennis D says:

    You Newark Libs support Unions. Now pay the overtime and shut up

  41. maltboy1 says:

    $187,000 is a lot of money! That would buy enough rock to keep Whitney high for at least a couple hours!

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