CHP Spent $5.1M Responding to Protests in San Diego, Adjacent Counties

CHP marquise at office in San Diego

Southern California's division of the California Highway Patrol spent $5.1 million on overtime for officers during local demonstrations against police brutality following the killing of George Floyd on May 25, the agency told NBC 7.

CHP's Border Division, which encompasses all of San Diego, Imperial, Orange and parts of Riverside counties, reported paying for more than 58,300 overtime hours.

San Diego County's protests have been largely peaceful but some tense situations arose in the days following Floyd's death underneath the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.

In a few instances, demonstrators attempted to walk on freeways and stop traffic, prompting CHP to intervene. Lines of officers and patrol cars could be seen blocking people from entering freeways like State Route 94 in La Mesa, Interstate 5 in San Diego and SR-78 in Escondido.

Statewide, CHP spent more than $38 million responding to the protests, the majority of the costs going towards more than 431,000 unanticipated overtime hours, according to a letter sent to state lawmakers requesting the budget committee approve an emergency unanticipated cost funding request due to the protests.

A portion of the costs came from CHP's response to demonstrations in the city and county of Los Angeles, where a state of emergency was declared allowing the state to use disaster assistance money to cover costs. The letter stated CHP utilized more than 70,300 overtime hours at a cost of more than $6 million in the Los Angeles region alone.

The Associated Press reported other costs were covered by the state's emergency fund ($13.2 million) and CHP's existing tactical emergency funding ($9.2 million).

Officers were put on 12-hour shifts starting May 29 when CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley declared a “tactical alert” in response to the civil unrest. The CHP’s request said it had to act because there were “threats to the immediate health and safety of persons or property throughout the state.”

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