Cost for keeping tabs on motorcycle gangs adds up
Overtime costs for Douglas County to keep tabs on two rival motorcycle gangs for one week came to at least $50,000, according to officials. Six weeks ago the Outlaws Motorcycle Club came to Northwestern Wisconsin to keep an eye on their rivals, t...
Overtime costs for Douglas County to keep tabs on two rival motorcycle gangs for one week came to at least $50,000, according to officials.
Six weeks ago the Outlaws Motorcycle Club came to Northwestern Wisconsin to keep an eye on their rivals, the Hell's Angels. The Angels were having their summer rally in nearby Carlton, Minn. Between 100 and 200 Outlaws made their way to Douglas County, followed closely by more than 100 police officers from around Wisconsin. Douglas County Administrator Steve Koszarek says overtime costs for the sheriffs department were about $35,000. Add to that the cost of fuel and lodging for the additional officers from 18 counties and Koszarek says the number climbs to nearly $50,000. But was it worth it?
"That's the $64,000 question," Koszarek says. "If something would have happened and somebody would have got hurt or liability questions come up, then we got off cheap. If nothing would have happened anyway then you could argue that we spent some money we didn't have to."
Koszarek says since no major problems occurred it was money well spent but it might breach the sheriff department's budget.
"The county has to come up with money either from a contingency fund or in some cases if we draw it from our forestry revenues, the money we would normally put in capital projects, road improvements," he says.
The Superior Police Department also had more officers on patrol during the rallies. Captain Matt Markon says since the Outlaws were camped in Douglas County their overtime costs were only about $1,600 more than during normal weeks.