Saturday, January 24, 2015

Occupy Philly is costing the city in police overtime

The Associated Press reports that the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City has cost the city $1.9 million in police overtime over the past three weeks.

Occupy Philly is costing the city in police overtime

This post has been UPDATED with a price tag for the Philly protests.

The Associated Press reports that the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City has cost the city $1.9 million in police overtime over the past three weeks. And that's at a time wihen the city is trying to trim their expenses.

From their story:

"The bottom line is that people want to express themselves, and as long as they obey the laws, we allow them to," Bloomberg told reporters Monday when asked about the protesters' staying power. "If they break the laws, then we're going to do what we're supposed to do — enforce the laws."

Last week, Bloomberg ordered all agencies to prepare to cut expenses by a total of $2 billion during the next 18 months. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the budget cuts may cause the cancellation of a new class of police officers entering the academy in January.

This got us wondering how the price tag for the Philly protest is shaping up. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said last week that the city would be using officers on overtime to staff the protest outside City Hall. And the city is also planning budget cuts to deal with lower than expected tax revenues.

As of this morning, Mayoral Spokesman Mark McDonald said the city doesn't have a tally for the bottom line.

UPDATE: We just got some more detail from Police Department Spokesman Lt. Ray Evers, who said that through yesterday, the Occupy Philadelphia overtime costs were at $164,000. And obviously, if the protesters stay a while, that number will continue to grow.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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