Patience running out for Occupy Wall Street protesters

by Kaitlin Walker

Occupy Wall Street protesters are getting on the nerves of many as they spread crime and waste in major cities across the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Residents are annoyed with protesters urinating in the streets and making noise at all hours, and law enforcement is worried about an increase of violent crime, including sexual assault, and petty crime, like stealing from nearby convenience stores, the WSJ reported.

In Minneapolis, while no arrests have been made involving protesters, the police department has already racked up more than $200,000 in overtime, as officers keep an eye on the 100 to 150 demonstrators that gather at the Hennepin County Government Center Plaza every day.

Minneapolis police Sgt. William Palmer said money is set aside for overtime, but that the protests have eaten up a significant portion of their budget in the short time since the demonstrations began.

The protests have also slowed down the department, Palmer said, because personnel have been pulled from their normal jobs to assist with protest-related duties, like monitoring the cameras installed in the plaza.

Palmer said in a statement sent out by Minneapolis police that he is pleased with the “successful dialogue” between protesters and police during the planning and execution of events, but that the public should be made aware of the mounting costs.