megan-elizabeth-deactivated2012 asks: Yesterday I heard someone complain about OWS costing them a "future job." This person is a college student who was planning to get a job as a police officer upon graduation. I believe he had already begun the hiring process. He claims that the police force is not hiring any new officers for a while because they can no longer afford it, thanks to the amount of overtime paid as a result of OWS. What do you think? Is this credible? Is this the fault of OWS, or a problem with the NYPD?
» SFB says: The protests are certainly a factor, at least in NYC. From this Reuters article: “About $226 million in police overtime was added for this year, and $240 million more a year after that, Turetsky said. The Police Department will have a hiring freeze for civilians; the Fire Department will cut 44 civilian jobs through attrition this year and 29 people next year.” While there have been other reasons — the year’s heavy snow and weather issues are also cited — the extra police presence at Occupy is part of the reason the city went $1 billion over its budget this year. As to who to blame, let’s face it: That comes down to your political views. Many find ways to credit or discredit the movement as they see fit. Plenty would be quick to put the blame with Bloomberg; others would certainly look at the Occupy movement. Ultimately, though, it’s been a difficult year all around for NYC’s budget, with many unforeseen circumstances coming out of nowhere, and Occupy was one factor of many. — Ernie @ SFB (It’s our Office Hours! Shoot us a question over here.)