Thursday, April 5, 2007

Tacoma to Send Pentagon the Bill for Policing Antiwar Port Protests

Last updated April 2, 2007 10:20 p.m. PT

Anti-war protests cost Tacoma $500,000


TACOMA -- Tacoma police say last month's 12-day anti-war protests cost the city an unbudgeted $500,000 to provide a large-scale law enforcement presence.

The rough estimate covers overtime, regular compensation, equipment and food for hundreds of workers from Tacoma police and other agencies, Assistant Chief Bob Sheehan said.

The city plans to ask the Port of Tacoma and the military to cover some of the costs.

"That's a tremendous hit on our budget -- a half-million dollars of unexpected expense," said Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma, adding that the military would get the first invoice.

"I think our request is justifiable," Baarsma said. "I would expect that we would be reimbursed. I would be surprised if we weren't."

Police increased law enforcement at the Port of Tacoma during the convoying and storage of Army Stryker vehicles from March 3 until a ship carrying the military equipment left for Iraq on March 14.

Protesters were there each night.

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