Betsy DeVos' security detail estimated to cost $1 million more in 2019

Posted at 4:32 PM, Oct 03, 2018

The security detail for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is projected to cost $7.74 million for the 2019 fiscal year, according to US Marshals Service spokeswoman Nikki Credic-Barrett. That would be about $1 million more than this year.

The Marshals Service gave no reason for the cost increase and CNN has asked the service for an explanation. Politico first reported the projected cost of her detail.

DeVos started using a security detail from the US Marshals Service in February 2017 at the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions after her contentious confirmation battle and an encounter with protesters at a middle school in Washington. It is uncommon for the Marshals Service to protect Cabinet members, who usually receive security protection through their individual agencies.

The Marshals Service conducted a threat assessment for DeVos and determined that a threat to her safety existed, Credic-Barrett said in an email. The US Marshals conduct regular threat assessments on the secretary to determine threats to her safety, Credic-Barrett said.

For "operational security," the US Marshals Service would not "disclose the number of employees providing protection or the nature of threats against the secretary," according to a statement from the agency.

The Marshals Service detail protecting DeVos cost $5.28 million from February 2017 through September 2017. In fiscal year 2018, which started in October 2017 and ran through September 2018, the detail cost $6.79 million, almost a million less than the 2019 projection.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Education and the US Marshals Service was signed in February 2017, when the Marshals Service began providing security for DeVos. That agreement is good for up to four years, but it can be canceled at any time by either agency with a 60-day notice, the Marshals Service said in a statement.

The is the first time the agency has protected a Cabinet-level official since it safeguarded the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, US Marshals Service spokeswoman Lynzey Donahue previously told CNN. That position stopped being Cabinet level in 2009.