Springfield Police pay tens of thousands in overtime costs for protests

Officers ensure public safety at protest
Officers ensure public safety at protest(KY3)
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 9:35 PM CDT
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Springfield Police spent tens of thousands of dollars to pay officers needed at local Black Lives Matter protests last month.

“Our primary goal and responsibility is to maintain order and peace in the city and we do that. The cost should be immaterial to folks,” said Chief Paul Williams.

Dozens of Springfield Officers were ordered to make sure the protests were safe events, not only for demonstrators but for the entire community.

“We have overtime money in the budget, any overtime costs. Whether it’s an officer working a call at the end of the shift or some scheduled events that we need to provide things for, some unexpected things that happen,” he said.

The department spent nearly $22,000 for just a few hours. Money, Williams says didn’t break the bank.

“We didn’t spend as much as we were budgeted in money for fuel costs and equipment repairs and car things. Finance does all that behind the scenes. They’ll move money over to make sure we come out with a zero sum game at the end. It’s not a concern at this time,” he said.

Overtime costs don’t just apply to rallies, demonstrations or protests. The funding, built into the department’s budget, covers just about any extra hours officers are called to serve.

“I don’t worry about the checkbook when we’re doing that. We just do whatever we need to do whenever it comes up whether that’s an armed barricaded situation, a protest or the president comes to town. We cover all those things. Then we sit down later and figure out what the cost was.

If I need to make adjustments to the budget, so be it later on in the year. The collective good far outweighs what it costs you individually," said Williams.

It’s important to note that Williams explained that extra officers were called out on the day of protests. Calls for service, across the city, were not disrupted.

City of Springfield Public Works Department also spent nearly $2000 dollars on extra costs for the demonstrations as well.

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