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Florida Capitol Protest Security Now Costs More Than $100 Grand

Florida Capitol police have now spent more than $100,000 mark on overtime pay, working round-the-clock to provide security for protestors who have been there the last three weeks, protesting Florida's Stand Your Ground Law. 

Since the start of the protest, Capitol Police have had to double their security detail. Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger says normally the FDLE wouldn’t have to be paying overtime on a regular basis.

“There may be some overtime during the Legislative Session, but at this point in the Summer, things are normally slower at the Capitol,” said Plessinger.

Capitol Police officers received about $191,ooo in overtime pay for all of 2012. And, as of Friday, the overtime cost, due to the Capitol protest, is already up to $103,000. And, Plessinger says that’s worrisome.

“We are at the beginning of a fiscal year. So, for now, we’re able to cover it. But, there may be a time when we’re not and we may have to ask for additional funds,” Plessinger added.

The demonstrators, calling themselves the Dream Defenders, have been protesting at the Capitol since July 16th. The protestors have repeatedly said they’re not worried about the costs associated with their actions, because to pay attention to the money spent would be putting a value on a human life.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.