Philadelphia has spent more than $400,000 in police costs to deal with the Occupy Philadelphia protest near City Hall, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The figure includes $164,000 in police overtime through the first five days of the protest – the bulk of the city’s out-of-pocket costs – and an additional $237,000 for the plainclothes and uniformed officers stationed at the protest. “In one sense the added cost is the overtime number, but there is also a deployment issue – the officers are here instead of other places,” said Mayor Michael Nutter’s spokesman, Mark McDonald.
Now entering its seventh day, the demonstration has drawn several hundred people or more to City Hall during peak periods each day. The number of tents that provide overnight accommodations increased to about 100 from 80 over the weekend. City budget director Rebecca Rhynhart – initiating an effort to pare about $47 million from the budget to compensate for three months of weaker-than-expected revenue – said she would ask all city departments to provide reports on what the demonstration is costing them. The city will charge demonstrators for a hookup to City Hall’s electrical system allowing demonstrators to recharge computers, telephones, and other electronic equipment and keep their website updated.