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Police tally costs for Marathon bombings, manhunt

Cape Ann Regional Response Team members clearing a neighborhood in Watertown.

Essex Police Department

Cape Ann Regional Response Team members clearing a neighborhood in Watertown.

Police overtime costs total in the thousands of dollars for local departments that sent officers, K9 units, SWAT teams, and other resources to the Boston Marathon bombings and Watertown manhunt for two suspected terrorists.

A survey of departments north of Boston shows overtime costs were about $3,600 for small departments on Cape Ann, about $11,000 each for Everett and Salem, and $20,000 for Revere.

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An Emergency Disaster Declaration for Norfolk, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties will provide 75 percent reimbursement of the cost from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to a state spokesman.

But the scope of overtime that will be covered, or whether departments will be reimbursed for other expenses, such as equipment use, has not yet been determined, said Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

“This is a whole new world for FEMA,” said Judge, whose agency is assisting local police departments to apply for federal aid. “FEMA still is trying to figure out what actions will, or will not, qualify.”

Departments will have until late June to notify FEMA of their intent to apply for reimbursement, Judge said.

Donald Jacks, a FEMA spokesman, said Tuesday that police and sheriff’s departments in Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk counties will file for reimbursement to FEMA. Departments outside those counties would file for reimbursement through mutual aid agreements they may have with Boston, Cambridge, and Watertown.

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“Then those communities would file for reimbursement as part of their” FEMA filings, Jacks said.

Three people were killed and more than 260 injured when two bombs exploded at the Marathon finish line on April 15.

Three days later, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Officer Sean A. Collier, who grew up in Wilmington and had also worked for the Somerville Police Department, was shot to death, allegedly by bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, as he sat in his cruiser near Kendall Square in Cambridge.

His death was followed by a carjacking, then a 20-hour manhunt that ultimately led to the death of Tamerlan and the capture of Dzhokhar, who is now in federal custody.

Hundreds of officers from suburban police departments responded to the attack, with some deploying just minutes after the two bombs exploded at the Marathon finish line in Copley Square.

“Our K9 teams went in right after the bombs exploded,” said Everett Police Chief Steven Mazzie.

“They were there all week. . . . When the call for all available units came from Watertown, our tactical team went over.”

Others responded as part of regional police networks, including the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, a 53-member consortium based in Wilmington.

“I look at NEMLEC as an insurance policy,” said Salem Police Chief Paul Tucker, the organization’s vice president. “This was an event where our very specialized, highly trained [units] were called upon.”

The Watertown manhunt was the first deployment for Ipswich police as a new member of the the Cape Ann Regional Response Team, which also includes Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport.

“It’s either good or bad timing, depending on how you look at it,” said Ipswich Police Chief Paul Nikas, whose department sent five officers, at a cost of $3,642.

Officers also provided security for President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama when they visited Boston on April 18 to attend a service and to visit some of the injured being treated at Boston hospitals.

Although the emergency overtime costs came near the end of the fiscal year (June 30), most departments were able to pay officers without seeking additional money from their city or town.

“We may still have to do that, but we are actively managing our overtime costs, and hope to make it through the year without seeking any additional [city] money,” said Tucker, whose department sent eight officers.

“We have money in other accounts” to cover the costs, said Revere Police Captain James Guido, whose department sent 20 officers. “We’re expecting to be reimbursed.”

The Cape Ann Regional Response Team may submit a combined bill for its SWAT team, said Rockport Police Lieutenant Mark Schmink, who coordinates the team.

“The cost was significant if taken all together,” Schmink wrote in an e-mail.to the Globe.

Schmink added that, for most departments, concern over public safety trumps any bid for reimbursement.

“We were extremely motivated and willing to assist in any manner possible . . . in order to ensure the safety of the public.”

Kathy McCabe can be reached at kmccabe@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @Globe
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