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Protests, virus response tap Rockford police overtime budget

September 8, 2020 GMT

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A northern Illinois city used nearly 60% of its police overtime budget through July because of protests and coronavirus training and response, officials said.

Rockford planned for $2.7 million for overtime in 2020 and had spent about $1.6 million by July 31, the Rockford Register Star reported.

Protests against excessive force and racism have occurred for weeks in Rockford, leading to arrests of people accused of blocking traffic.

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“Our regularly budgeted OT amount is doing a good job in covering protest costs. ... OT is only used when it is deemed necessary for the betterment of the community,” said John Pozzi, the police department’s business manager.

“When planning for a protest, or any forecasted event, we focus on covering what is necessary and not deploying unneeded resources,” Pozzi said.