Earlier, we noted that the Portland Police Bureau had reported its overtime costsso far (linking to an Oregonian report that's since been updated with the correct amount) related to Occupy Portland: $186,400.
Curious if there was more detail, I asked police spokesman Lieutenant Robert King if there was some kind of breakdown for how much of that involved the 10,000-strong October 6 march vs. the continuing costs of policing the Occupy camps at Chapman and Lownsdale squares and other, smaller unpermitted marches.
Here's the split: $72,952 for the march, he says. And the rest? Well, yeah... $113,448 for three weeks of work. That's about $2 million a year, roughly. And about half the size of the sum the police bureau could wind up slicing from its budget if Mayor Sam Adams insists upon cutting the bureau's operating budget by, say, 4 percent next spring.
Meanwhile, Adams is warning about something that could wind up driving up that overtime budget even higher: Occupy Portland's plan for a campout-lite, Saturday night in the Pearl District's Jamison Square.
Says Occupy Portland:
Occupy Portland is in Solidarity with Oakland, Atlanta, and all other cities which have experienced a hostile police take-over. We will gather for a camp meeting to discuss the prospects of our future political actions, which may include the expansion into new territory.
We will be demonstrating in Pearl District to bring awareness to the inequality of wealth within our very city. We are not proposing redistribution of wealth- we raise our concerns to the truth that basic needs for safety are only guaranteed to those with the economic privilege.
Jamison Square is privately owned a public park*. It is emphasized that you REMAIN ON YOUR BEST BEHAVIOR. Drugs and Drama will not be welcome.
Says the mayor, in a statement that sounds just like what his spokeswoman told me earlier this week:
From the start of the Occupy Portland protest, I have made one thing very clear: We must protect people's right to peacefully protest, while also keeping the city moving and working.
With this balance in mind, I have also made it clear that while the City is not at this time enforcing certain rules at Lownsdale and Chapman squares, all parks rules are in effect at all other city parks.
We will not allow Occupy Portland to set up an alternative encampment at any other city park. Portland Police Officers have been reminding Occupy Portland participants of this throughout the week, and will continue to use their discretion in enforcing parks rules throughout the city.
We will continue to monitor the Occupy Portland protest, and make practical, day-to-day decisions like these as warranted. I want to thank the participants for their ongoing cooperation with City officials and staff, as we strive to balance their right to protest with keeping the city working.