Occupy Denver comes with large price tag

12:50 PM, Oct 17, 2011   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

In Chicago, 175 people were arrested overnight after they refused to leave Grant Park. Organizers didn't get a permit to stay in the park after it closed. In Phoenix, 46 people were arrested for criminal trespassing, and in Sacramento, one of the 19 arrested included anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan.

In Europe, protestors turned violent in Rome when hundreds of protestors broke windows and set cars on fire. Police used tear gas and water cannons to try to break up the crowd.

Police in Denver kept an eye on the protestors in Civic Center Park on Sunday, with many of the protestors expressing different opinions about their ongoing showdown with law enforcement

Protestor Scott Greene said, "What I saw yesterday was good cops and bad cops." 

"They are supporting us and keeping us safe. They are just doing their jobs here," Kelsey McRae said. 

Law enforcement officials said it is becoming expensive to sustain a much larger than normal police operation in the park for days on end.

"We had about 110 uniformed officers between our crowd control team, which are the individuals wearing the protective helmets and the protective black gear," Sgt. Mike Baker with the Colorado State Patrol said.  

In addition to State Patrol officers, Denver Police officers, helicopters, medical personnel, and public works employee have all been operating in and around the park during the protests.

"There are a significant number of our officers who are on those shifts and on those teams who would not usually be at the capitol," Baker said. "They are performing outside their regular duties."

At this point, there is no estimate on how much the protests have cost the state or city.

To compare, Occupy Philadelphia has cost city police $164,000 in overtime and $237,000 more in regular time. In New York, protests cost police about $80,000 dollars a day.

Whether or not that is too much money is still a point of debate amongs the protestors in Denver.

"It's tax dollars being wasted away," Greene said.

"I think this is a really good example of places where the state needs to spend money for jobs and keeping our streets safe," McRae said. 

Denver Police have had to pull officers from other parts of the city to send to Civic Center Park to provide support for the demonstrations. Officials said there is a chance that might be affecting police response for other calls around the city.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

Most Watched Videos