- Hipster Cop, working overtime in style.
Every-baaahdy’s work-ing on the weekend. At the City Council’s annual budget meeting Thursday, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly testified that the NYPD’s expected overtime budget for the next fiscal year tallies in at $585 million, as a whopping $17 million alone has already been spent policing the Occupy movement, DNAinfo reports. That’s a little more than $2.4 million spent on the protest per month since its inception, the same cost of police overtime for the entirety of President Obama’s multiple visits to New York City in 2011.
The number puts to rest the idea that the Occupy movement hasn’t made a significant impact on the everyday operations of the city. In the first two weeks of the Zuccotti Park protests alone, the NYPD spent $2 million on overtime, and by the end of November that amount increased to $8 million. According to Kelly, it’s the spontaneity of the protests that have been messing with the budget. “What causes issues for us is the unplanned events,” Kelly said. “The unplanned events are always the wild card.”
Kelly also added that most of the intelligence the NYPD gathers on the movement is gleaned from the internet. In that case, they must know by now that Occupy Wall Street’s got something extravagant in the works for May 1—a general strike. May Day has held a special legacy in New York and United States history since 1886, when workers went on a mass strike to demand an eight-hour workday. Because of the police repression and riots that ensued, May Day has been celebrated since as the day to voice concerns of unions and various left-wing causes. This May Day, Occupy is promising to deliver, in which case police overtime doesn’t look like it’s getting cheaper anytime soon.
You can follow Sydney Brownstone on Twitter @sydbrownstone