In an effort to look “more gubernatorial,” New York Governor David Paterson has apparently doubled his security from what it was last year and according to the New York Post there is now more state troopers working security detail for Paterson than there are patrolling all of Long Island.
According to state troopers, Paterson now travels with a large entourage and usually a motorcade of around four cars which makes him look more important and “helps him politically.”
According to Thomas Mungeer, the president of the State Troopers Police Benevolent Association, points out that despite the fact that Paterson has cut the budget for state police, he has increased his own detail size to more than 200 troopers.
Paterson’s office defended the decision pointing out that Governor George Pataki had an even larger amount of troopers on his security detail. Pataki would actually have some of the troopers armed with machine guns. And let’s face it, Paterson, like Pataki, can use all the help they can get. Eliot Spitzer had cut the amount of security personnel after Pataki left office and before Paterson replaced him.
In Paterson’s defense, the increase in security detail was originally recommended by the top cop in charge of protecting the governor to which Paterson’s aides had no objection as it would help them politically (supposedly).
Governor Mario Cuomo had traveled with just two or three bodyguards despite being much more effective and powerful than Paterson and Pataki.