NYPD Overtime Costs for Parade Float Above OWS

| November 28, 2011 12:30 PM

New Yorkers fretting over rising New York Police Department (NYPD) overtime costs — a record $550 million last year — should consider what Hello Kitty, Shrek and Sonic the Hedgehog will add to the city’s bill this year. According to the New York City Independent Budget Office (IBO), the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade cost $192,000 in police overtime in 2010.

A police officer rides along the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route. The parade cost an estimated $192,000 in police overtime in 2010. Flickr/Tatiana Shebelova

It might seem like small change following the intense police presence surrounding Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park and elsewhere in Manhattan. Last Thursday, a police department spokesman told The New York Times that Occupy Wall Street-related police overtime since the start of the protests added up to a cumulative $8 million.

That’s a lot of money for a lot of overtime hours. Although just a fraction of the budget for the current fiscal year, Occupy Wall Street overtime expenses have been the costliest single event for the NYPD this year.

But Occupy Wall Street has endured for more than two months, with periodic surges for demonstrations like last Thursday’s “day of action.” For each of the 62 days between Sept. 17, when the occupation began, and Nov. 17, the daily cost of police overtime has averaged about $129,000 — significantly less than the cost of parade coverage.

It’s not news that police coverage for parades is costly. Last year, the police department announced a plan to shorten the routes of all New York City parades by 25 percent to save an estimated $3.1 million in annual overtime costs. The Thanksgiving Day Parade is exempt from the cutbacks. Police spokesman Paul Browne told The New York Times that because this parade falls on a Thursday –when manpower is the strongest even on a holiday — it costs the department much less in overtime than other parades.

The NYPD breaks down its overtime budget into “planned” and “unplanned” events. Occupy Wall Street is categorized as an unplanned event, as are natural disasters, presidential visits and sports playoffs requiring increased police presence. Just because an event is planned doesn’t mean it comes cheap: The IBO reports that the New York City Marathon cost $2.3 million in overtime last year.

Read the full post at The New York World.

  • pissedoffwoman

    “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?”

    At Occupy Wall Street we chanted this at the riot police.

    A former SEC enforcement lawyer said yesterday on PBS Newshour: “I think…there would be gridlock and chaos in SEC litigation brought in the federal courts if parties were required to admit that there be some type of admission, some type of culpability, because that admission would have a collateral effect in all other litigation.” He said that the SEC would “need to add 30 administrative law judges” to actually try the cases it investigates.

    Who does the SEC protect? Are their litigations designed to send a clear message to financial criminals that their fraud will be punished…or to send a false message to the American people that something is being done? Given what the criminals have already been able to do and get away with, I’d say the latter.

    Who does the government protect? Local governments have had no qualms about spending millions of dollars in police overtime to “protect” the public from peaceful protesters. But apparently the federal government doesn’t have the money to hire 30 administrative law judges.

    To hire 30 administrative law judges would cost You the Taxpayer $4.665M/year in salary, plus $313,012.80/year in health benefits, or a little under $5 million per year.

    Police presence at Occupy movement protests has cost at least $13 million to 18 cities in 2 months.***

    So which do you think is a more effective use of your tax money? Hiring enough legal personnel to actually punish those responsible for the widespread fraud that led to the financial crisis? Or paying a bunch of working-class people in scary helmets to arrest, steal property from, pepper-spray and beat up another bunch of working-class people shouting stuff and holding signs?

    http://pissedoffwoman.wordpress.com

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