Occupy overtime costs Vancouver PD nearly $40K

Officers responded to local events, Portland protests




Overtime costs for Vancouver police officers to control crowds at the Occupy Vancouver and Occupy Portland demonstrations will likely be about $40,000, police said Tuesday.

The bulk of the overtime costs — more than $30,000 — come from sending officers to Portland as part of a mutual aid agreement. Officers assisted the Portland Police Bureau on Oct. 6 and Nov. 13, 15 and 17, police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said.

“We were asked to provide personnel for assistance with crowd control,” Kapp said. “We deployed personnel from our trained civil disturbance team.”

Twelve Vancouver officers were on hand in the wee hours of Nov. 13 as police cleared Portland’s Chapman and Lownsdale squares of the protesters camped there, Kapp said. The cost to the city in overtime salaries and benefits for that evening was $18,986, she said. Assistance on Oct. 6 and Nov. 15 was an additional $4,177.

Another 15 officers were called out on Nov. 17, when Occupy protestors, angry about their eviction, took their demonstrations to Portland City Hall. Thirty-four people were arrested and others were pepper sprayed when they blocked MAX light rail lines.

So far, 94 hours of overtime have been filed for the officers’ work on the 17th, Kapp said, but the total cost hasn’t yet been calculated. A budget analyst estimated that the overtime cost will be in the range of $7,000 to $9,000.

Officers on the civil disturbance team — trained in crowd control — also have other assignments, meaning their work to help Portland police with the Occupy demonstrations had to be done on overtime, Kapp said. Mutual aid agreements mean that an assisting department does not ask for reimbursement from the city it is assisting.

Overtime costs associated with policing Occupy Vancouver events on Oct. 15, 22 and 29 and Nov. 5 totaled $7,771.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office did not send any support to Portland for the protests, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Other regional police departments also sent representatives to Occupy Portland, including Salem, which spent about $14,500 in overtime to send officers to clear camps on Nov. 13, the Salem Statesman-Journal reported.

The Portland Police Bureau spent about $450,000 on overtime during the eviction, and more than $750,000 in overtime since the beginning of the demonstration more than six weeks ago, The Associated Press said.

Andrea Damewood: 360-735-4542 or andrea.damewood@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reporterdamewood or www.twitter.com/col_cityhall.