Watching the massive late night raids on the occupations at places like Oakland and New York City I’m left thinking, who is paying for all this?
These massive late night raids can’t be cheap. They involve dozens, perhaps hundreds of police officers, often brought in from other nearby jurisdictions. There just aren’t that many police on the graveyard shift, so the bulk of them must be getting paid costly overtime to work evictions in the middle of the night. I can also only assume renting police from other jurisdictions to work a late night shift must come with some significant additional costs.
In these bad economic times, cities and other local jurisdictions have been struggling hard to find funds to pay for even the most basic public services, including police. They have been forced to make extremely painful cuts at every level to stay within budget. They simply don’t have large pools of funds to spare.
Either cities like Oakland have decided using massive police force to break up peaceful demonstrations is worth wasting money that could have gone to fund needed city services like schools, public transit and infrastructure repair, or the cities are getting federal money from agencies like the Department of Homeland Security to pay for these military style crackdowns.
Neither of the two possibilities is good news, but I find it strange that all over the country several large cities simultaneously decided now is the moment to waste a huge amount of their limited budgets on expensive late night raids that require overwhelming police presence.
I don’t have the answer to the question yet, but I have my suspicions. I think the American people deserve to know exactly who is footing the bill for what appear to be nation-wide coordinated attacks on the occupy movement.