Opponents of the Occupy Wall Street protests have begun to harp on the effects that the demonstrations are having on the NYPD, on everything from the cost of overtime that is draining necessary funds from city coffers to the possibility that sending cops to watch over Zuccotti Park is having an effect on the city’s murder rate.
But on the first point at least, the Independent Budget Office has pushed back:
Recent reports that the first month of the Occupy Wall Street protests cost the city $3.4 million in police overtime no doubt led to some raised eyebrows. While a substantial sum, it equals just a fraction of police overtime spending in recent years.
Indeed, the city’s overtime payments have grown, but “some portion of the increase is probably a reflection of wage growth during the five years, not just more overtime hours.”
They also look at some other overtime costs from NYPD, including:
The New York City Marathon–$2.3 million in police overtime
The Thanksgiving Day Parade–$192,763
The Steinway Street Festival–$3,474
The September tornados in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island in September 2010–$318,407
Last December’s blizzard– $1.6 million
The January snowstorms–$883,721
Red Sox vs. Yankees last August and September– $410,948
The playoffs against the Twins last October—$305,045 more in police overtime. (The Mets, the authors note “it seems, simply don’t ignite the same passion—or extend their season long enough—to warrant added overtime.”)
President Obama’s seven visits– $2.4 million
Osama bin Laden death by Navy SEALS in Pakistan in May– $773,981
Mayor Bloomberg’s Summer Streets initiative– $709,358