City, NOPD release few details about monument demonstration response

Paul Murphy looks into the price of staffing during Confederate monument protests.

NEW ORLEANS – City leaders are not offering many details about the resources used during a large protest Sunday at Lee Circle.

The New Orleans Police Department won't say how many officers provided security Sunday’s protests. The department called it an ongoing security operation and will not be disclosing details regarding the NOPD's deployment strategy or tactics.

Saturday, City Homeland Security Chief Aaron Miller said the monument debate is a continuing threat.

"The city continues to treat these events as a homeland security operation," Miller said.

The NOPD, responding to a series of questions from WWL-TV, claimed there were no extra costs incurred in staffing Sunday's demonstrations.

"The NOPD's role was to provide for public safety and we did so within our normal operating budget," police spokesman Beau Tidwell said. "There was not an additional or special cost for (Sunday's) operation."

Tidwell also maintains the only overtime incurred on Sunday was confined to traffic officers deployed for Jazz Fest.

According to the city, Emergency Medical Services did incur some overtime for additional paramedics and emergency medical technicians to provide support for the demonstration as well as the Jazz Fest.

The city also stated that some personnel were not permitted to take their scheduled days off because of the protests.

While the cost of providing public safety at the demonstrations is difficult to determine in terms of the city's budget, some New Orleans business leaders argue there are potentially huge costs when it comes to the city's reputation, nationwide.

Monday, the New York Times ran an article describing the ongoing debate over the confederate monuments as, "...an ugly battle over race and history in New Orleans that seems to only be growing uglier, one that demonstrates the confederacy's enduring power to divide Americans more than 150 years after the cause was lost."

The NOPD made only three arrests in connection with Sunday's protest activities.
    

 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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