How much are protests costing the city?

- Protests, protests and more protests hit the streets of Philadelphia. But what are these demonstrations actually costing the city?

FOX 29 is looking into the mounting costs of political protests and you may be surprised what that price tag looks like.

Here in the cradle of democracy, the First Amendment is not only written in stone but that freedom of expression is costing the city.

FOX 29 has learned since President Trump has taken office the city's cost of handling public political protest has been nearly 3-million dollars.

"Democracy is not cheap. And we will continue to protect people's civil rights to express their displeasure with the government," said Mayor Jim Kenney.

Most of the overtime went to police to patrol protests like the March for Women that had more than 50,000 in the streets the day after the inauguration.

In fact, police overtime accounted for more than 2.7 million dollars. Extra fire and EMS crews cost nearly $50,000. Followed by the street crews, public property and fleet management. All told the bill since election day is 2.9 million dollars.

Mayor Jim Kenney says the protests are a direct result of Donald Trump's policies. And no matter the cost the main concern is keeping protestors and police safe.

That cost will continue to rise, according to the ACLU. These kinds of protests may be just the beginning.

Helping pay for those protest costs? Believe it or not mother nature. Mayor Kenney says with very little snowfall so far this year--there may be surplus in the snow removal budget to offset some of those costs.

 

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