Report: Trump Protests Cost Philly Almost $3M
The city of Philadelphia has reportedly paid almost $3M in overtime costs resulting from protests held since the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
According to Billy Penn, the vast majority of the costs (about $2.8M) has gone toward the Police Department. But the city is also reportedly paying overtime to employees in the Fire/EMS Department (about $35.7K) the Streets Department (about $15.4K), the Department of Public Property (about $22K) and the Office of Fleet Management (about $7K).
Protests held since Trump’s inauguration include the Women’s March on Philadelphia, which brought about 50,000 people to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on January 21st, as well as the slew of demonstrations held during the GOP Retreat in Philadelphia, including a “Queer Rager” that drew 2,000. And let’s not forget the massive demonstration against Trump’s executive order on immigration, which drew between 5,000 and 6,000 people – including local officials – to the Philadelphia International Airport on January 29th, as well as smaller protests, which are held regularly in the city, like the demonstration organized by Comcast employees last week.
Recent protests have not resulted in any major incidents or mass arrests, which has led to some praise for both demonstrators and police. In an email sent to Billy Penn, City spokesman Mike Dunn said that while the protests may have placed “an increased burden on our police force,” they “are the direct result of rushed White House policy announcements and implementation. They highlight how important it is for the White House to fully vet policies before they are imposed, for Congress to insist on its legislative oversight as well, and for our federal representatives to open their doors to their constituents.”
Philly frequently exceeds its overtime budget. In the fiscal year 2016, the city spent $170 million in overtime costs – $45 million more than was budgeted in main departments – according to PhillyVoice.
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