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East Ventura Focus

SIMI VALLEY : Police Overtime Cost $62,326 During Trial

May 14, 1993|MACK REED

The city of Simi Valley spent more than $62,000 to put its police on 2,009 hours of overtime duty at the end of the second trial of four Los Angeles police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney G. King, officials said Thursday.

Fearing potential violence at the end of the U.S. District Court case, the Simi police doubled patrol car staffing from one officer per car to two during jury deliberations, in a massive mobilization dubbed "Operation Gatekeeper," said Police Chief Lindsey P. Miller.

When the verdict was announced, the city also doubled the number of cars on the street in case the city was hit by violence such as had been threatened after the officers' first trial, which was held in Simi Valley, ended in acquittals.

"When the first trial occurred and the verdict was announced, we had rioting in Los Angeles and we had a lot of threats made against this community," Miller said Thursday. "People telephoned City Hall, telephoned the Police Department, telephoned the newspapers, threatening to burn the city down. . . . This time around, nobody knew what the verdicts would be, and it would be really stupid to not be prepared."

The city spent $62,326 on overtime for the extra protection between April 9 and 19, according to an accounting released this week by the city manager's office.

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