A hearse carrying Whitney Houston waits outside the New Hope Baptist Church after her funeral service in Newark, New Jersey.
Whitney Houston’s funeral cost the singer’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey $187,000 in police overtime, CBS News reports. Unsurprisingly, many taxpayers in the city are furious, as this amounts to five percent of the cash-strapped police department’s $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 told the local affiliate of CBS News before suggesting that the singer’s family should foot the bill.
Thousands of people lined the streets of Newark to catch a glimpse of the hearse carrying Houston’s body on the day of her funeral. Police were required to keep fans away from the private service at three locations – the cemetery, the New Baptist Church and a family gathering at the Newark Club. “I was able to be witness to the thousands upon thousands of people who were desperate to attend the service but held back by barriers and officers of the law,” Democratic Councilwoman Mildred Crump told CBS. “If they had not been there someone may have been trampled, seriously hurt.”