Occupy LA cost Los Angeles $5 million

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The $5 million tab to clean up the Occupy LA encampment on City Hall’s lawn should be a reminder of the financial costs of taking a political position, a member of the Los Angeles City Council said today.

Though protesters with the Occupy LA movement were removed from the City Hall lawn by the Los Angeles Police Department back in November, it wasn’t until today that the final bill was presented to the Public Safety Committee.

At least $4.7 million in city services were spent on Occupy LA, including:

  • $2.5 million on police officers and LAPD supplies
  • $187,000 on legal services
  • $54,000 on trash pick-up and sanitation services
  • $2,700 on graffiti removal

The bill does not include the time mayoral and council staffers spent on the issue. Insurance policies and donations toward the bill totaled $461,000, bringing the city’s responsibility to $4.2 million.

That figure should be a reminder to elected officials that every action has a cost, said Councilman Mitch Englander.

Camping is not allowed on the City Hall lawn, nor is remaining on the premises after hours. However, the Occupy LA movement was embraced by the Los Angeles City Council early on with the passage of a council resolution. Englander was absent from that vote.

“We have laws and regulations and codes and ordinances that prohibit (camping in parks) and the reason we do prohibit that is because it costs money to enforce it. It costs money to monitor it,” Englander said.

“It’s one thing to go out there and support folks and have a press conference. It’s another to say we’re going to do it on the backs of taxpayers.”

The financial report was forwarded to the full Los Angeles City Council.

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