Ferguson unrest could cost taxpayers millions

Thursday, August 28, 2014 | 8:37 p.m. CDT; updated 7:34 a.m. CDT, Friday, August 29, 2014

FERGUSON — The cost of extra policing in Ferguson in response to rioting and looting that followed the police shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old could cost local, Missouri and federal taxpayers millions of dollars.

St. Louis County Chief Operating Officer Garry Earls estimates the county spent $1.5 million in police overtime to deal with unrest in the St. Louis suburb since Michael Brown's death on Aug. 9.

Earls figures the total tab for the extra security in Ferguson could range from $3 million to $6 million, with governing jurisdictions ultimately looking to the state and federal governments for reimbursement.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the state should expect a bill for the roughly $740,000 it cost his department to supply additional police manpower in Ferguson.

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