Police overtime for protests not expected to strain Baton Rouge budgets

    While many metropolitan police departments across the country have racked up millions of dollars worth of overtime during the recent Black Lives Matter protests, Baton Rouge-area departments have not experienced a major financial impact, according to officials.

    Protests against racial injustice began in late May in Baton Rouge following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and have occurred mostly in downtown and along Siegen Lane. 

    City-parish spokesman Mark Armstrong tells Daily Report that overtime hours worked by Baton Rouge Police Department officers for the protests should be minimal and should not have a significant impact on the city-parish budget, which is expecting a $23 million shortfall because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

    While figures for the Baton Rouge Police Department were not immediately available, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Department says there were roughly 4,600 overtime hours submitted by deputies working the protests, totaling nearly $185,000. Daily Report has submitted a public records request for the BRPD figures, but because of a high volume of recent requests, the department says it could be up to a month before the figures are released. 

    The spending contrasts with several other cities across the nation, including many in the South. Since late May, Nashville’s police department has spent more than $2 million on overtime costs related to the protests, Axios reports, and the Dallas Police Department spent some $1.5 million on overtime and equipment during the first three days of protests in the city. The costs are straining municipal budgets, which are already in a bind because of pandemic-related revenue shortfalls. 

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