Keeping occupiers out of Frank Ogawa park requires 24-hour security. So far, the city has used its police force to protect the area, but that’s come at a steep cost: $16,000 per day.

To free-up the police force to focus on other public safety issues, the city is preparing to approve a 30-day contract with a local, private security company. The cost: $545,000. The company’s employees will patrol the area, monitor any suspicious activity, and help keep the occupy protesters from re-establishing a camp in the park. However, they will not have the authority to make arrests. That means if push comes to shove, they will still rely upon the city’s resources to keep the peace.

One question that remained unclear going into the Tuesday night’s city council meeting: Why the contract? At just over $18,166 per day, the proposed contract will cost $2,100 more per day.

From Oakland Local:

This evening, Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Oakland City Council is scheduled to formally approve a $545,000 contract for the local security firm charged with guarding against Occupy Oakland setting up camp again at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

The security firm, V.M.A. Security Group, was hired in mid-November to guard against Occupy Oakland re-establishing another camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza, said  Interim Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan.

V.M.A., now regularly patrols the plaza 24-hours a day with uniformed guards that are unarmed. V.M.A’s service is in addition to the private security service from Cypress Security being done around City Hall. Cypress was just hired this April on a $2 million, two-year contract to provide regular security services for the Plaza.

Read the full article here.