Black Lives Matter protests cost SLO County more than $800,000

August 20, 2020

An accounting of personnel costs shows law enforcement agencies in SLO County, along with one state agency, have spent an estimated total of $825,000 on policing Black Lives Matter protests, an amount that could rise considerably. [Tribune]

Following the May 25 death of George Floyd, protests have occurred almost daily in SLO County. On two occasion, local protesters’ violent actions led police to deem the events riots.

The Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo police departments, as well as the SLO County Sheriff’s Office and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, provided accounting of personnel costs and mutual aid for protests that took place from May 31 to June 18 in San Luis Obispo. The expenditures released also include mutual aid provided by local law enforcement, which sent officers to Los Angeles amid riots at the end of May and the beginning of June, and the July 21 protest in San Luis Obispo that culminated in the arrests of demonstrators Tianna Arata and Elias Bautista.

Smaller, more recent protests in SLO required far fewer officers and are not included in the expenditure total. The California Highway Patrol, which has been involved in the policing of SLO protests, has yet to release its expenditures.

The SLO County Sheriff’s Office has spent the most money, $393,283, among local agencies on policing Black Lives Matter protests. Overtime costs account for most of the sheriff’s office’s expenditures on BLM protests.

Sheriff’s officials spent a little more than $5,000 on travel expenses related to the Los Angeles protests. The sheriff’s office sent 44 deputies to Los Angeles.

Trailing the sheriff’s office, the San Luis Obispo Police Department has spent $252,238 on Black Lives Matter protests, according to the expenditures the city released.

Officials say the June protests cost the city $253,238. Of that total, overtime pay accounts for approximately $176,850.

SLO Police Department’s personnel costs for the July 21 protest totaled an estimated $13,068. July 21 expenditures are not factored into the total spending for individual agencies.

Every other police department in the county spent less than $27,000 on policing the BLM protests that took place between May 31 and June 18.

On Tuesday, SLO City Manger Derek Johnson warned council members that the police department is close to exhausting its overtime budget. City staff will likely ask the council in September or October to take out funds from emergency reserves.

In attempt to recoup costs, the city of SLO is considering requiring permits for protests and citing individuals marching in the streets without a permit.

Only one of the recent protests, a Women’s March, was permitted. The march cost the city between $30,000 and $40,000, of which about $9,000 was recovered through permitting fees.


Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment

Just comming back from a Texas road trip and checking what s going on in the extreme right corner.$875000!, better start cutting on overtime.It could have been an other peaceful protest but Ms Cantrel decided to show Dan Dow that she is earning her money. I agree that going on the freeway was a mistake but these are young people not old farts like most of us . You act differently with young people ,did you not know that Ms Police chief?


If they are old enough to vote, they should be old enough to know right and wrong. Maybe you were out of town, but SLO PD actually took a knee with the protesters, out of respect, when they were actually peaceful…how did that work out? Expecting the police to “act” differently with different people (based on age, race, gender, etc) is counter to the entire argument that has been presented by the defund the police bandwagon…my expectation is that they do their job fairly & justly, no matter our differences.

Jon Tatro

The somewhat silent majority is getting tired of these snowflake leftist. Whatever you were trying to say has been drowned out by your own stupidity.


So take Heidi’s $160K for racial justice training and deduct from the cost of racial justice “demonstrations”.


Sue the BLM international organization…they can get a check from George Soros….


Money well spent…any amount to control this “harmless” movement. It’s NOT just about Black Lives, that’s the cover. Talk about folks fooled into following a jingo everyone agrees with…they want to rid the world of Mother-Father-Children family units. This quote is from their website.

“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”

BTW that is re-worded communist ideology. Connect the dots, this is not rocket science. And no, it’s not the old-school Red-scare baloney, this is overtly the real-deal.


Yep. That’s why we’ve never had a babysitter for our kids. It’s basically communism.


Localman – LOL!




…Humorous analogy……


What this statement is questioning is the prescription, think requirement, that the nuclear family goes solo. Don’t see anything wrong with questioning this and “supporting each other as extended families”. Sounds like the activities of a properly functioning religious congregation to me. It’s what my family’s congregations do; trade baby equipment; exchange clothing; help with elder care; collective purchasing.

In my early life, I was involved in consumer coops, i.e., cooperative grocery stores; briefly explored housing coops; cooperative credit unions and farm credit lenders. Helping families is what they do, or are supposed to do, in the case of lenders. Cooperative efforts are not communist. They are all over rural America.

Two full time plus working low and moderate income parents, and their “Father-Mother-Children” families, NEED the support of communities, an extended family. How else can you make it at a federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour? This will help reduce the number of abortions. What you see as communism supplanting the family. I see as a traditional value coming back into style out of necessity.


Over-policing the protests against over-policing cost SLO County more than $800,000 for policing.


Unfortunately, these have been under-policed and has caused this nonsense to drag on and on. IF they were actually policed, assertively and not aggressively, these would have been shut down a long time ago. When there are no consequences, people will continue to push the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Only one of these protests had a permit! If I even replace my water heater without a permit I might get a fine!


I don’t need a permit to exercise my right to free speech or to assemble. Don’t see that clause anywhere in my pocket constitution. What does yours say?

You might want to keep reading further down those documents ..beyond….”we the people”


The absurd actions by the bullies of BLM, does nothing for their platform. Thinking that destroying property just galvanizes the opposition to them, and it isn’t racism, its the terrorist actions by these people. I see Tiana on the news, “Waaaah, waaah, this is unjust, unfair, my future, wahh,” its all bull. her mother raised her as a professional victim, she’ll live on filing lawsuits her entire life. What a loser.


The SLOPD blinked, and blinked badly on June 1, 2020 when it got into the altercation with the BLMers in front of the Police Stations on Santa Rosa. It arrested a number of people, but then let them all go.

It wasn’t the pressure from the rioters that made the SLOPD blink. It was from the mayor and the balance of the city council. In other words, public safety was tossed out the window for political gain, or at least political stasis. Totally unacceptable.

Mayor Harmon and Councilwoman Andy Pease need to go. SLOPD Chief Deanna Cantrell also needs to be replaced. A police chief needs to have the courage, smarts and the gravitas to ardently guide a city council during emergency times. Cantrell does not have these qualities. She should have known what this would lead to, and she should have convinced the city council to back the SLOPD.


Don’t forget the city manager,

Time to clean house


The lesson in US civics? If a minority interest group exercises their constitutional rights, over a sustained amount of time, they can bring the majority to the bargaining table.

Cities don’t have unlimited budgets. The city will have decide either to continue dealing with BLM in the same expensive manner, or they can look to defuse the situation and work to address some of their concerns. I think I made this very point about 6 weeks or $650,000 in overtime ago.

It is hard to swallow for many here but these protesters have the upper hand. In a free country that has inalienable rights; you can’t wish (or whisk) them away or strip them of their rights to silence them.

The majority gives way not by choice, but rather from necessity. This game is over though most don’t realize it yet.


If that were the case they wouldn’t resort to violence. What will happen is that the majority of the citizens will get tired of this…tired of the lack of civility and the lack of respect for other people & property. After a while, the majority will demand an end to it, hopefully before the politicians implement additional tax hikes to cover the costs of ensuring that 100-150 people actually protest peacefully!


You have demanded that it end since the beginning . But you don’t get to decide when they end do you?

Free will in not a thing the state can control or the opposition. Your civil rights do not include the right to be violent. Or use water canons to make a point. They win if they persist. The reason; Cost.