ATLANTA -- Atlanta taxpayers will pick up a $451,691 tab for more than two weeks of tug-of-war between the city and Occupy Atlanta protesters, with nearly three-quarters going to police overtime.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the cost estimate, released Wednesday by Mayor Kasim Reed’s office, covers the period between Oct. 7-25, leading up to the day before police officers arrested 52 people for staying beyond Woodruff Park’s 11 p.m. closing time. Prior to that, Reed had extended, and then revoked, an executive order allowing the protesters to stay in the downtown park around the clock.
“That costs a bit more, but I would rather have that expense than be ill-prepared,” Reed said. “At the end of the day, the overall expenditure by the city of Atlanta will compare favorably to other major American cities that are dealing with Occupy protesters.