Occupy Nashville comes with cost - WKRN News 2

Occupy Nashville comes with cost


While the state of Tennessee has agreed to a temporary restraining order to not arrest anymore Occupy Nashville protesters, questions of cost and safety still remain.

The 75 state troopers last Friday and the 73 last Saturday who arrested dozens of protesters at the state's Legislative Plaza will not be getting any extra pay.

"The Department of Safety does not and the Tennessee Highway Patrol specifically does not have overtime built into our budget," Col. Tracy Trott said last Friday in response to a question about the cost of the arrests.

He said those troopers will get time off later on to not go over 160-hour max in a 28-day period.  Still, critics say that means hundreds of hours not doing typical trooper work.

Tuesday morning, Governor Bill Haslam steadfastly maintained his concerns about the safety and health conditions at the Capitol Hill Occupy Nashville camp, but he tossed out another issue as well.

"I have seen a whole lot of newspaper articles, and TV news shows I have not seen anybody who are interviewing are General Service workers who have been cleaning up in the morning," he said.

State general services officials did not want to comment on camera but many said three-to-four maintenance workers daily are cleaning up the Occupy Nashville mess.

They say uric acid from human waste is tarnishing the expensive marble on the Legislative Plaza walking area.

An Occupy Nashville leader offered a counter argument.

"If the normal security that runs this plaza when we are not here were here, they would better prevent that from happening," Occupy Nashville member Michael Custer claimed.

While the legal issues over Occupy Nashville are on hold, the controversy isn't going anywhere.     

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