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Councilman Favors Lessened Police Presence At Occupy Site

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Paul Lopez (credit: CBS)

Paul Lopez (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – At least one member of the Denver City Council says the money being spent on law enforcement to oversee the Occupy Denver protests could be used in other parts of the city.

Councilman Paul Lopez says the demonstrators have been mostly peaceful and officers should be utilized in neighborhoods where there is a greater need for public safety.

“I would rather see this money spent in a way that’s productive for the whole city and not just in reaction to what has been for the most part a peaceful demonstration,” Lopez told CBS4 on Monday night.

The demonstration in Denver is nearing the three month mark and the city says it has spent more than $430,000 to manage the protests. That brings the total cost to taxpayers to more than $780,000, with the state having spent approximately $350,000.

RELATED STORY: Denver Says Occupy Protests Cost $430K In Overtime

“There’s a lot more that we can do with this money than just babysit a bunch of protesters,” Lopez said.

The mayor’s office says the city money that’s being spent is being absorbed into the budget.

“We’re under a hard budget this year and it’s not getting any better,” Lopez said.

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