Occupy Denver has cost Denver Police and Sheriff Departments $365,000
Update, 4:28 p.m. October 21: The Denver Police Department has released the cost incurred by the DPD and the Sheriff's Department to monitor Occupy Denver, particularly over last weekend's demonstrations: approximately $365,000. The number also includes the costs of other city agencies that provided assistance to the two.
Original item, 8:31 a.m. October 20: In the past few weeks, many of you, our dear readers, have asked us how much it is costing the city and state to monitor Occupy Denver, especially during protests like those that happened on Friday morning and Saturday night. The short answer is: Those numbers are coming. The longer answer is: We're not sure when.
One commenter, Botch, wrote:
Your tax dollars just got wasted, and you're about to lose a lot more. Just think how much sod the State could have purchased with those wasted tax dollars.
In the hope of answering that question, Westword spoke to Mary Dulacki, the woman who is fielding the approximately 1 billion records requests the Denver Police Department has been receiving on the subject. Her polite estimate is that the results will be available by the end of the week, "though I can't make any promises," she says. "When I saw the poor lieutenant who was tasked with coming up with this stuff -- and she's very careful and detail-oriented -- I felt sorry for whoever had to take on that job."
The delay in the records being released is the city's focus on specifics, which Dulacki says includes animal control, mental health services and the use of a helicopter, three things Westword was previously unaware were involved over the course of the weekend's police altercations.
On a Colorado State Patrol-specific level, the expected due date for information on costs is slightly less clear: "It might be a couple weeks before we get that coming back," says Eric Brown, a spokesman for Governor John Hickenlooper. "I don't think it's going to be for another week or two."
Although a final estimate has yet to be released for Denver, we do know that the first five days of sister occupation Occupy Philadelphia cost $164,000 in overtime costs and $237,000 in regular time, or about $80,000 a day.
In the meantime, Westword will give you the local answers as soon as we, well, get them -- but we wanted to keep you updated. Check back for more information.
More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver: City Council's Susan Shepherd calls protests most important thing in country."