The first two months of the “Occupy” protests have cost taxpayers at least $13 million in police overtime and other municipal services, found an Associated Press survey. The steepest costs by far mounted in New York City and Oakland, where police clashed with protesters several times. The AP gathered data in 18 cities through Nov. 15, the day protesters were evicted from New York City’s Zuccotti Park, where the protests began Sept. 17.
The numbers are more or less in line with the cost of policing major public events and emergencies. The price of the protests is rising by the day – along with taxpayer ire in some places. The Occupy movement never has clarified its objectives, using a broad message opposing corporate excess and income inequality. The increased spending is being incurred as cash-strapped police departments have cut overtime budgets, travel, and training in response to the recession.