Massive police presence at Drag Queen Story Hour in Evansville could be costly to the city

Local News

Evansville Police say there were no security issues this weekend during the Drag Queen Story Hour event but say they were prepared in case it got out of hand.

Eyewitness News is now looking into the cost of keeping everyone there safe.

Library officials confirmed to us that although they do have some security personnel on staff, all of the on-duty Evansville police officers there were there at the discretion of the police department.

That means, the city is left to pay that bill and not the library.

Eyewitness News Brandon Bartlett contacted Evansville Police Monday to find out how much it cost to have those officers and their equipment stationed at the event.

We were told they are gathering that information for us and will pass it along soon.

We did some digging and found out that Greenville, South Carolina also hosted a Drag Queen Story Hour event last week.

It, like in Evansville, was also a very controversial event.

Our sister station in Greenville reports that security for their event cost the city $48,000.

Greenville is just a little over half of the size of Evansville.

The county council there is now looking into an ordinance that would require the facility hosting an event like that to pay for the extra security.

Monday night, we presented this information to some members of the Evansville City Council.

Missy Mosby said even if the Evansville event cost $10,000, that’s not something the city can afford, especially if it’s held on a regular basis.

Jonathan Weaver said the amount spent by the city for security is a number he wants to see as soon as possible.

“I would like to have somebody in the police administration come before us, tell us what the overtime coss was,” said Weaver. “What you told me they paid in South Carolina, that’s substantial. We know the finances of the city, there’s a ton of arguments on where we are with the finances of the city. If it’s $48,000 like it was in South Carolina, that would be something hard to afford if this is on going.”

The library issued a statement saying, as of now no other Drag Queen Story Hour events are planned.

As soon as we get that security cost from EPD, we’ll update this story.

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(This story was originally published on February 25, 2019)

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