Wed November 23, 2011
Report: Occupy Protests Have Cost Cities $13 Million
According to an AP survey of 18 cities with active Occupy protests, the movement has cost local municipalities $13 million in "police overtime and other municipal services."
"The AP gathered figures from government agencies in 18 cities with active protests and focused on costs through Nov. 15, the day protesters were evicted from New York City's Zuccotti Park, where the protests began Sept. 17 before spreading nationwide. The survey did not attempt to tally the price of all protests but provides a glimpse into costs to cities large and small.
"Broken down city by city, the numbers are more or less in line with the cost of policing major public events and emergencies. In Los Angeles, for example, the Michael Jackson memorial concert cost the city $1.4 million. And Atlanta spent several million dollars after a major snow and ice storm this year."
The cost-per-city varies widely: New York City has spent the most with $7 million. Oakland has spent $2.4 million; Atlanta about $652,000, whereas Washington, D.C. has spent about $1,000.
The bigger issue, reports the AP, is for cities facing deficits. Oakland for example was already trying close a $58 million budget gap this year. The mayor told the AP that the protests were already straining resources.
And here's what the Seattle mayor's office, which has spent some $626,000 and supported the protests, had to say:
"'These costs are currently being absorbed by the departments and may result in reduced service levels in other areas in the future,' said Julie Moore, a spokeswoman for Mayor Mike McGinn. She did not specify which public services might suffer."