MPD costs for Occupy Minnesota near $100,000

by Anissa Stocks

The Minneapolis Police Department has spent nearly $100,000 on the Occupy Minnesota movement.

MPD has had successful dialogue with protesters since the movement landed in Minneapolis nearly two weeks ago, said a statement from Minneapolis police. 

Protesters have cooperated with police, and no arrests have been made by the department, as of Tuesday.

The city has had to pay $43,500 for approximately 726 hours of overtime work.

But the statement called the hours “unavoidable.”

Sgt. William Palmer said police have been regularly meeting with demonstrators and noted that officers “seem to be getting along quite well with [protesters].”

In other cities, including New York and Los Angeles, hundreds of Occupy demonstrators have been arrested. About 700 people were arrested on Oct. 1, according to the Associated Press.

The statement also said that the city and MPD “wholly support” people’s rights to exercise free speech, but it stated:

” … We want the general public to be aware of the commitment of resources and additional costs associated with policing Occupy [Minnesota] activities.”

The Minnesota Independent reported that about 50 protestors in Minneapolis listed off reasons they wanted to risk arrest at Steve Payne’s teach-in Oct. 15. Demonstrators set up tents to shelter themselves from the cooler weekend weather. The closed structures are prohibited. The tents were confiscated by officers early Oct. 16.