San Diego Is Spending $57,000 Daily and Has Spent $2.4 Million Total Patrolling Occupy San Diego

by on November 23, 2011 · 14 comments

in Civil Rights, Labor, Popular, San Diego

San Diego police officials remove a tent from an Occupy San Diego protest site Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, in the downtown Civic Plaza in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Editor: It’s official: the City of San Diego and its Police Department have finally released figures on how much is being spent patrolling the Occupy San Diego protests. (Were they finally pressured to do so by our searing posts? See here.)  The City has spent nearly $57,000 daily and a total of $2.4 million on the protests since they began on October 7th.  This does not include costs for the County Sheriffs when they were used. Here’s the San Diego U-T coverage:

By Matthew T. Hall and Ashly McGlone / San Diego U-T / Nov. 22, 2011

The city’s police department said Tuesday it paid $143,918 in overtime costs for four major operations during the Occupy San Diego protests against corporate greed that began Oct. 7 at Civic Center Plaza.

The overtime covers four periods of beefed-up patrols: a march on the first night that drew 1,500 demonstrators and police sweeps of the area on Oct. 14, Oct. 28 and Nov. 16.

In releasing figures the media had sought for weeks, police spokeswoman Lt. Andra Brown said in a statement that the department “has spent just over $2.4 million to maintain order and safety at the demonstration sites.”

Yet most of that amount — about $2.26 million — is not an additional expense to the city. It is what officers would have been paid regardless of where they were stationed.

In the past week, about 20 officers and two sergeants have been monitoring the protests at any given time, Brown said. Diverted officers are leaving their typical patrol areas to watch over the demonstrations, a move that keeps staffing costs in check but decreases the police presence elsewhere.

 “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,” Brown said in the statement. “The redeployment also includes administrative and investigative personnel who have been taken away from their caseloads.”

 Just before the department sent out its calculations, demonstrators occupied a federal courtroom a few blocks from City Hall.   So many gathered there for a hearing in a lawsuit protesters have brought against the city and police department that some people were turned away.   Occupy members are seeking a temporary restraining order, and then an injunction, to stop the department from using Section 54.0110 of the city’s municipal code to ban items from being set on public ground.

The police cited the provision last week to clear out tarps, tables, sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, clothing and food near the downtown plaza. Protesters said they are routinely barred from setting down items as varied as flags, folding chairs, plants and bagels.

Attorneys for the protesters said the provision is vague and overly broad, while city attorneys said it doesn’t impede the occupiers’ protests.

A ruling from Judge William Hayes could come as early as Wednesday

Assistant Police Chief Boyd Long declined to comment on the litigation.

In an interview, Brown said she didn’t know how the department would pay the overtime incurred during the four big operations. As of Nov. 17, a day after the last major police sweep, officers had made a total of 89 arrests and citations.

The figures released Tuesday do not include staff time spent by police chiefs and captains, or costs incurred by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for assistance during sweeps conducted Oct. 28 and Nov. 16, police officials said.   The sheriff’s department said it had not calculated its expenses.   No costs have been incurred by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for the Occupy North County movement, according to Sgt. Robin Lawrence from the Encinitas sheriff’s station. Those protests, which began in mid-October, involve weekend marches but no overnight camping.

Meanwhile, the city of San Diego has paid nearly $4,860 from its parks and recreation budget as a result of the Occupy movement, including $3,910.82 to power wash the plaza on Oct. 28 for eight hours.

For the original article and for some nifty photos, please go here.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar coolhp November 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm

tax the rich


avatar SparkySs November 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm



avatar No Gods November 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm

“Chairman Mao did not fail, revolution will prevail.” The City is using Parks and Recreation budget money to pay for much of the expenses they choose to spend harassing the Occupation movement. Perhaps they could use the slush funds given to the City Council or the lobbying monies the mayor uses to push a new stadium. The predictable rockets falling on us in Dau Tieng every night contributed to us ending our was of aggression against the peoples of southest Asia, perhaps these constant costs to the City, and nation, will help force the 1% to end their wars of aggression against the 99%. They may evict us from our parks, but they will never take our recreation!


avatar Steve Ruiz November 30, 2011 at 5:35 am

Did Chairman Mao let you worship your own religion? Hello! reality check.
Get you facts straight please.


avatar Eugene Davidovich November 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Chief Lansdowne has mishandled the Occupy San Diego Protest. He has facilitated the waste of over 2.4 million dollars in 30 days on supressing free speech at Civic Center Plaza in San Diego.

He has ordered the macing and beating of peaceful protesters and continues to waste over $57,000 per day on intimidating, harassing, and suppressing the peaceful protest rather than protecting and serving the interests of those exercising their freedom of speech and assembly.

We the Citizens of San Diego call on Chief Lansdowne to resign his post as Chief of Police immediately.

Sign The Petition “San Diegans Call for Resignation of Police Chief William Lansdowne” –


avatar sunshine3 December 2, 2011 at 11:45 am

You need to re-read the article. $2.26M of the $2.4M would have been spent regardless, so it is not a “waste.” The remainder is because the occupiers tend to have a mob-like attitude (sudden marches disrupting traffic, for example) and the job of the police is to protect the public and maintain order. Believe it or not, they are there protecting you, too. If they suddenly left, you would be at the mercy of other idiots who are annoyed by your being disruptive. If they didn’t accompany you on your marches, you could be hit by a car or cars could get into accidents. Stop acting like victims all the time. The victimhood is getting very old.


avatar Shelly Schwartlander November 26, 2011 at 12:25 am

How much of that expense is for creating a plausible (for now) accounting to justify that amout or for “spin” for those who still believe San Diego City’s financiers and SDPD’s mgmt–pay source (supposedly city pays but doesn’t manage SDPD. . . whatever). Will this be another “pension fund” type decision, situation we’ll be reading about for the next 15 plus years? How does our city manage to stay out of bankruptcy? They must be financial wizards or very busy crooks. I remain bewildered by where the money goes.


avatar Steve Ruiz December 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm

If the unions controls the jobs they control the bennies!!Shelly if the city would privatize a lot of there functions and through attrition have true competive bidding for jobs the city does this would drive down the cost to you and me , tax payers
If a union controls the work they control the benefits , if you new what some of these people retire on it would make you sick in your stomach!


avatar Larry Boatman November 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Looks like it might be a matter of priorities: if we take the $57,000 / day figure and divide it by the number of taxpayers in San Diego (592,323), then the taxpayers are paying 9.6 cents per day to quell the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of speech and expression for its citizens. Compare that with the $73,151.25 / day (every day for the past three years) TARP bail out charge to San Diego taxpayers, which when divided by the number of taxpayers in San Diego shows that the San Diego taxpayers are paying 12.3 cents per day (every day for the past three years) to keep the 1% in business. In other words, almost four times as much.


avatar Larry Boatman December 5, 2011 at 10:30 am

I suppose we should include the $7.7 trillion dollar secret loans the Federal Reserve made to the banks beginning in August, 2007 and up until April, 2010. Let’s see that would be an additional $54.60 / day / San Diego taxpayer during that 2 and 3 /4 year period. An amount which really exhibits what it means to keep the “to big to fail” 1% in business.

And, then there’s the more recent coordinated central bank action (US dollar Overnight Index Swap plus 50 basis points) which goes into effect today (December 5, 2011) to make it easier for the central banks involved (Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, European Central Bank, Swiss National Bank, and the Federal Reserve) to provided “liquidity support” (whatever that means – see paragraph above) to the global financial system.


avatar RB December 5, 2011 at 11:30 am

It also looks like the American public and taxpayers are about to have their money committed to underwater European countries through the IMF. These issues (Fed lending to foreign banks and IMF lending to failing Euro countries) will be big with the Occupy people in a couple of years after they figure it out.


avatar jazzie December 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

Sorry, Larry, your math does not compute very well. A lot of the bailout was paid back, with interest. And, the bailouts didn’t just keep the 1% in business, they kept the 99% employed, too. When it comes to the cost of keeping law and order, the cost would be a lot lower if the occupiers would be law-abiding citizens. When you aren’t, then yes, it will cost us taxpayers (part of the 99%) more money….thanks to the occupiers, we are having to pay this money. Think about it, will you?


avatar Larry Boatman December 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Greetings Jazzie!

We must be using different accounting methods. I’m not certain what “a lot” means to you. As the recent Bloomberg report on the secret FedRes funds ($7.77 trillion) shows, very little of the money went to “loans” to the banking companies.

And as for “law and order,” it is not an honorable action to torture persons who are testifying for (the meaning of protest, after all) their Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms (until the recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act [Section 1031]) of assembly and speech. And those “terrorsymps” taking such (until the recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act [Section 1031]) shameful actions can only be seen as enforcers for the 1%.

And, with all of the Republican Senators (except two) voting to approve the Act with Section 1031 standing, I would have to agree with the former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan, Paul Craig Roberts, that the Republican Party has become a Gestapo Party.


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