The effort to remove protesters from Bronson Park that took place last month ended up costing local officials quite a bit of cash.

For about a month, a large group of people protesting the treatment of homeless people in Kalamazoo set up a camp in Bronson Park and occupied it, causing many residents to feel like the park wasn’t usable by them for leisure and other activities. On September 19, a day after the city ordered the campers to leave, police entered the encampment and forcibly removed the occupants, with some of them getting cited and others being arrested.

All of their tents and items then had to be removed and disposed of, with reportedly some of these items being ones that were donated by the community. MLive reports that all told, the costs to the City of Kalamazoo and their Parks and Recreation Department were almost $17,000, with over $5,000 of that going towards overtime pay for KDPS officers. The protesters had been fighting for access to better services for homeless residents.

Last week, the Kalamazoo County Commission approved half a million dollars in their 2019 budget to help find solutions to the problem.

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