- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 1, 2002

A week of protests against globalization cost the District almost $9 million in police overtime and other security-related costs, say city officials, who note that federal money will cover only part of the bill.
More than 1,700 officers from around the region and from as far away as Georgia, Chicago and New York came to assist more than 1,600 D.C. police officers working 12-hour shifts to keep thousands of protesters from disrupting city business or the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday the city has received a commitment for $5 million from the federal government to help defray the costs of bringing in officers from other jurisdictions.
But he said the federal funds would not cover the entire tab for the weekend's events.
"It never covered the entire projected cost because they weren't planning on reimbursing the District government for our expenses "our" being MPD and other agencies," he said. "But they were going to reimburse us for any expense of bringing in outside agencies, housing, feeding, that sort of thing."
Chief Ramsey said the city has not finished totaling the bill from the protests, in part because many officers had to work beyond their assigned 12-hour shifts.
Members of Congress are still negotiating over a proposal to add $12 million more to cover costs to a bill vetoed by President Bush. That still leaves a gap of about $3 million in total cost of $20 million the city has estimated for the spring and fall protests, the July Fourth and post-September 11 security needs.
The shortfall comes just as city leaders are working to correct a projected deficit of $323 million in the fiscal 2003 $5.3 billion budget.
The police chief said he would be "glad to get" the $12 million in additional support from Congress for providing public safety at federal events, but he emphasized that the department still finished fiscal 2002 within its budget.
The federal government is providing $15 million to the District in fiscal 2003 for next year's protests.
The money is used to pay for overtime for D.C. officers to escort diplomats, prevent illegal demonstrations and keep order. It also pays for the salary, transportation, food and lodging for officers from other jurisdictions, that police officials say are sometimes reluctant to send personnel because those jurisdictions fear the District won't be able to reimburse them.
The protests marches, teach-ins and rallies resulted in more than 600 arrests Friday but were more peaceful over the weekend.
About 400 of the 655 protesters arrested over the weekend gave their names, paid fines ranging from $50 to $100 for disobeying a police officer or blocking entrances and were released.
Courts worked round-the-clock Saturday and into Sunday morning to arraign 215 persons, most of whom provided their names and were released but asked for trial dates. A small number of protesters withheld their names and will remain in the D.C. Jail for about seven days until their trial dates can be set.
Those that go to trial could face fines of up to $1,000 for failure to obey a police officer and up to 90 days in jail for obstructing entrances.
Four persons face weapons charges after they were caught attempting to construct a homemade bomb Saturday. A few others faced misdemeanor charges of destroying property.
The Mobilization for Global Justice, a District-based coalition that has organized many of the capital's anti-globalization protests, held a march and rally Saturday to support the world's poor against what they say is harmful monetary policy.
Sunday, members of Peace Action filled Dupont Circle to march and rally for peace.
City officials praised the police department for their preparedness.
"You can't be too prepared or too careful," said Tony Bullock, spokesman for Mayor Anthony A. Williams. "We had a successful event. The protesters made their point. The IMF-World bank officials held their meetings. There was no major property damage or violence. The police took a zero tolerance policy and yet let people protest peacefully."

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