FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – The cost of having police force present during protests and looting in Ferguson is estimated to be millions of dollars. But St. Louis County does not know how they will pay the costs because there is no protocol for such a situation.
“We have no record of this ever happening here in St. Louis County,” said Garry Earls, the county COO.
The largest factor in the cost is paying the officers their overtime, an estimated $250,000 per day or three million dollars, total. The cost includes personnel from different municipalities, equipment, and food. In order for state and federal government to help with costs, a specific fund needs to be set aside for such an occurrence. But it turns out, there is no such fund.
“Well, we’re collecting those costs from across the community and certainly we’ll serve as a clearing house, and Mr. Dooley has committed us to doing that,” said Earls.
So far, the cost is being shared among several community, said Earls. “It’s not just police. What you see is quite a bit of fire and EMS people there,” added Earls. Of the 57 police departments in St. Louis County, most have sent officers to Ferguson.
Similar to a natural disaster like a tornado, Earl calls the clashes in Ferguson a civil disaster.
“We’d expect then that this would be similar to the way the federal government would reimburse some of the cost associated with a storm,” said Earl.