Occupy Phoenix Has Cost Taxpayers (99-Percenters Included) More Than $200,000 in Less Than Two Weeks

The occupation of downtown Phoenix may not have shut down Wall Street (shocking, we know), but it's definitely putting a burden on city resources -- to the tune of more than $200,000.

Phoenix police tell New Times that since the "Occupy Phoenix" demonstration began at Cesar Chavez Plaza on October 15, the protest has cost the city about $204,000.

"Most of the cost were incurred on October 15th and 16th during the National Day of Protest,"  Sergeant Trent Crump says.

The $204,000 price tag, according to Crump, includes the costs for additional police, firemen, park personnel, and what it's cost the City Prosecutor's Office to deal with the 50 "occupiers" arrested during the protest.

As one "99-percenter" told New Times last week, the occupation will go on "until ever" so these costs will definitely increase as the movement wages on.

On the first day of the demonstration, there were more than 1,000 protesters carrying on at Cesar Chavez Plaza. Since then, the number has dwindled -- we counted 16 when we dropped by the Plaza last week.

Tucson's occupation has been slightly more successful in terms of the number of "occupiers."

Tucson Sergeant Maria Hawk told New Times yesterday that her department has made more than 350 arrests since the occupation began the same day as Phoenix's "occupiers" took to the streets.

Hawk estimates that on any given weekday, there are about 100 "occupiers" demonstrating in city parks. On Tuesdays -- when City Council meetings are held -- and on weekends, that number increases to up to 1,000 demonstrators.

See our complete coverage of the "Occupy Phoenix" movement here.

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James King
Contact: James King