SDPD says the Occupy protests costing the city millions - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SDPD says the Occupy protests costing the city millions

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SAN DIEGO (CNS/News 8) - The city has so far spent about $2.4 million to police the open-ended Occupy San Diego demonstration that began nearly seven weeks ago, officials reported today.

The price tag for keeping the social-justice movement safe and orderly includes nearly $144,000 in overtime costs, according to a statement from the San Diego Police Department.

The remainder of the expenses stemmed from on-duty personnel reassigned from their regular duties to handle the ongoing demonstration, which has used Civic Center Plaza as its main center of operations.

"The majority of the cost has already been something that has been budgeted by the police department," SDPD public-affairs Lt. Andra Brown told News 8. "But the real loss has been, the real expense has been, at the cost of the other neighborhoods."

"This redeployment has been in the form of every division supplying one to three officers every shift, every day, taking them away from the neighborhoods they are assigned to serve,"  said Brown. "(It) also includes administrative and investigative personnel who have been taken away from their caseloads to work at the Occupy sites."

The average per-day cost for the special enforcement has been $56,876, according to Brown.

"The countless hours spent by chiefs and the Central Division captain are not included in these figures," she added.

While police resources have been diverted, authorities say crime rates in other parts of San Diego have not risen over the last seven weeks.

Occupy protestors criticized the millions spent so far on policing their movement.

"They're spending that sort of money to crush free speech?" demanded Occupy demonstrator John Kenney. "This is the constitution: that is really shameful."

The leaders of the demonstration have vowed to keep their campaign going strong until their demands -- including meaningful action addressing poverty, joblessness, corporate malfeasance and political corruption -- are met.

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