Following a public spat with President Donald Trump, Nan Whaley was assigned a security detail for just the third time while serving as Dayton’s mayor.
A two-person team of police detectives watched over the mayor around the clock for six days after she received angry and abusive phone calls and messages via email and social media.
The mayor’s security since then has been scaled back, but officials declined to provide exact details.
Whaley said she’s received threats in the past over her support of gay marriage and refugee-friendly policies, which resulted in her being assigned police escorts temporarily or for certain public appearances.“We cannot reveal what type of security has been or will be provided,” a police spokesman said.
But her comments about Trump really drew the ire of his supporters.
If it were up to her, Whaley said she wouldn’t ever have a security detail but she doesn’t make that call.
“This is the most extensive security I’ve ever had,” she said. “They are here for my safety, and if they think it’s important, than I think it’s important.”
On Aug. 7, Whaley, Trump and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, visited shooting victims, survivors and first responders at Miami Valley Hospital.
Whaley and Brown held a press conference afterward where both said they urged the president to support and sign legislation in the Senate requiring background checks on gun purchases and other reforms.
Whaley said the first responders and victims were grateful the president came to Dayton.
Later that day, Trump on Twitter said he had a “warm and wonderful” visit to Dayton but Whaley and Brown “misrepresented” what took place inside the hospital.
“Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud,” the tweet says. “It bore no resemblance to what took place with those incredible people that I was so lucky to meet and spend time with.”
Whaley appeared on CNN, where she told Anderson Cooper she did not understand why the president responded this way, but she said his posts on Twitter show he’s a “bully and a coward.”
After that, furious and sometimes vitriolic messages started flooding Whaley’s social media accounts and email. The city also received calls from very angry people.
“Get the hell out of this country you disrespectful trash. Treason is death,” reads one message.
“You’ll face Christ one day and I hate to say this but I will have no sympathy for you when you go to hell,” another message reads.
Dozens of messages reviewed by this newspaper contain extremely abusive language and expletive-laced insults.
Dayton Law Director Barbara Doseck and City Commission Office Director Ariel Walker decided Whaley needed police detail.
A Dayton police spokesperson said Friday there was general concern but no specific threats against the mayor.
Whaley later told this newspaper said she does not know what she could have done differently to avoid being criticized by the president.
“I respected the president and the office of the president, but I strongly want him to do something and the people of Dayton want him to do something, and so it’s my job to say that,” she said.
Whaley was elected mayor in 2013. She said she was followed by a police presence in 2014 after agreeing to officiate symbolic same-sex marriage ceremonies during Pride week in 2014.
Whaley said later, she was provided a police detail after she made comments about welcoming refugees.
City officials said they did not immediately have cost estimates for the police security that protected Whaley.
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