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.