Monday, February 6, 2012

CMPD Reports Costs of Occupy Charlotte Police Work - But How Much Was Really Spent?

Last week CMPD Captain Jeff Estes told reporters that the costs of containing and monitoring the 30 people associated with Occupy Charlotte was more than $447,000.

CMPD Capt. Jeff Estes speakes to local reporters.

Photo Credit Grant Baldwin and CLT Blog More Photos are

The dollar figure that Capt. Estes gave reporters apparently included all of CMPD's expenses since the protests began nearly four months ago. Estes stressed the fact that CMPD didn't pay any overtime in connection with the Occupy Charltote prostesters.

According to the Charlotte Observer police Captain Jeff Estes said the figure was determined by tracking officers' hours during the past few months and calculating their salary for those hours. It includes events from Occupy Charlotte's initial march on Oct. 8 that drew more than 600 people, through last week's enforcement of the new city rules on demonstrations, a little less than four months.

CMPD kept an eyey on Occupy Charlotte activities at the makeshift "tent city" on the old City Hall lawn, as well as during marches to various sites in uptown since the fall.

But the following day Estes clarified his statements by saying some the $447,000 included the costs of Command Staff meeting to discuss the Occupy Charlotte situation. While Estes didn't back track the "restatement of costs" caught a few people off guard.

With the "clairfication" some in the MSM started asking for a more detailed accounting. To Cedar Posts something just wasn't adding up and reporters only need to look at reported costs in other cities.

Charlotte's Occupy movement has never amounted to much. Despite Charlotte's new found fame as host of the 2012 DNC Convention, outside agitators and anarchists have stayed away. The small Occupy Charlotte Group has never had more than two dozen people at a time sleeping over night and seldom averaged more than three dozen standing around during the day.

Fortunately Charlotte has been spared the riots and police confrontations that cities like New York and Oakland California have endured.

But what about other cities?

Back on November 23, 2011 Chicago announced that Occupy Chicago had cost the city about $49,000 after two months. Police department’s projected costs are $48,767 the majority of it in overtime.

Austin, Texas had spent about $9,800 as of Nov. 15, for cleanup to the plaza in front of City Hall.

Providence Rhode Island, wrote a check for about $9,000 as of Nov. 15, including extended hours and maintenance for restrooms and police overtime.

Des Moines, Iowa about $7,800 as of Nov. 15, mostly for police overtime.

Columbia, South Carolina reported $17,000 in costs that included evicting protesters at the end of November.

Nashville, had estimated costs at $4,500, as of November 20, including expenses for daily cleaning of entrances to Capitol, increased chemicals in plaza fountain because of urine and debris, and electricity usage by protesters. State estimates another $25,000 for cleanup and repair after protesters leave.

St. Louis, Missouri $2,200, for overtime and other costs to parks employees.

Washington DC, spent about $1,000 as of Nov. 15, for less than 20 hours of police overtime.

Finally Los Angeles, had more than $120,000 in costs, for services such as recreation and parks, street services, security and city attorney work to handle the 500 tents and 2,000 protesters that had camped out for nearly two months.

In fairness, some cities like New York, Portland and Oakland have spent more than $1 million dollars to deal with massive crowds and in some case riots and forced evictions of hundreds of protesters.

But with a little simple math and it is clear something is wrong with CMPD's accounting. It shouldn't cost more than 100k per month to keep an eye of two dozen basically well behaved but smelly protesters.


citynewswatch said...

Of course you're correct that the number is not right, but how extra humiliating to put together what other large cities with real large protests and some actual security threats have spent on police.

What will they do when more than 20 people show up for DNC 2012?

Good context.

Anonymous said...

Leaves a lot of unanswered questions....and where is the detailed line item report?

There will not be one.....

Rodney does not believe in accounting, or being accountable for anything monetary, at all!!

He just makes up crap numbers and throws them out there hopung no one will be smart enough to actually question theit legitimacy, because City Council never does.

Anonymous said...

That is not true... Central Division Officers DID GET OVERTIME.
Another lie from Command Staff!

Anonymous said...

Nice try Cedar Punk. The numbers you are using are only for a month not four months.

It is jerks like you who give this department a bad name with your lies and BS.

Anonymous said...

Some of the officers brought in from divisions other than Central were paid overtime due to the fact that they worked it on a scheduled day off. The officers were either paid overtime or chose to utilize comp time. The citizens of Charlotte should know that this mess did have an effect on the coverage for their divisions.

Anonymous said...

Estes wants Major so bad that he is willing to do or say anything that he is told to do or say. Sad that he has sold his soul for a possible (but highly unlikely) gold leaf.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:53:
Can you clarify your post? You want people to know there was some effect on coverage of other divisions but in the previous sentence, you said "Some of the officers brought in from divisions other than Central were paid overtime due to the fact that they worked it on a scheduled day off."
If it was their day off, you're not counting those officers since they weren't scheduled to work in their own division, anyway. So could you give us a sense of how many officers borrowed from other divisions were on duty as opposed to on their day off/overtime? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:27:

I can clarify that by saying that officers who chose to utilize comp time, instead of being paid overtime, took the time off instead of working.

For example, if an officer was scheduled to be off on Friday and Saturday, but was selected to work Occupy on Saturday, then they would most likely take comp time on their scheduled work day, which would be Sunday. Therefore, the coverage in that officer's assigned division was changed.

As for the exact number of officers this applied to, I wouldn't know.

security sensors said...

I appreciate more for it is more detailed.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:28 -
Thank you, that helps. If I understand correctly, if an officer took comp time instead of being paid overtime, whenever they took that time, their division would run short. Got it.
What impact does a division see if it is short one or two officers on a shift? I don't know how many were pulled for OC, just trying to get a sense of what it means to the officers who are left... I would guess more territory to cover and longer response times?

Billy Fehr said...

No matter what else happens to you, being on one of Cedar's posts means you've made it. Brilliant work, and kudos for the transfer...

Anonymous said...

Hey! Who are you calling "smelly?" :)