Portland Police Dept. spending records show 200% increase in overtime pay for officers this year

Police officers pass a fire lit by protesters on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Portland, Ore. Hundreds of people gathered for rallies and marches against police violence and racial injustice Saturday night in Portland, Oregon, as often violent nightly demonstrations that have happened for 100 days since George Floyd was killed showed no signs of ceasing. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

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UPDATED 9:27 AM PT – Wednesday, September 9, 2020

According to new data out of Portland, the city’s police department spent $6.9 million between June and July to pay officers for overtime hours spent protecting residents amid ongoing rioting and looting in the city’s streets. This reportedly marks a 200-percent increase from overtime pay last year during the same time period.

Additionally, the Portland Police Department has spent tens-of-thousands of dollars on fencing, munitions and other crowd control equipment in an effort to quell the unrest.

Police officers in the city have fought against violent rioters for more than 100 nights in a row with 59 arrests made in the city last Saturday alone.

Police detain a man during the 100th consecutive day of demonstrations in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. The demonstrations began over the killing of George Floyd. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Back in June, however, the city council voted to slash at least $15 million from the police department’s budget, which met just a fraction of the $50 million protesters hoped would be cut.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said removing funds from the police is “just a start” to continue police reform in the city. Back in June, he admitted that depleting the police funds “down to zero” can’t possibly happen .

“I most certainly will not decrease the funding of the police bureau down to zero because at the end of the day criminal activity still happens in the community,” Mayor Wheeler stated. “Dozens of people call for police assistance throughout the year and we still need robust public safety to function in this community.”

Without enough money to continue to pay officers for their overtime work, many believe the city will continue to see increasingly overwhelming chaos in the streets.

RELATED: Portland Police Assn. president says City Council holding police back from dealing with violence

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Amber Coakley
Author: Amber Coakley

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