Security relaxed at Occupy Philly encampment; Dilworth Plaza work nears

The Nutter administration has eased up on security surrounding the Occupy Philadelphia protesters outside City Hall.

Security had been costing $100,000 a week. Now, only about a third of Philadelphia City Hall is barricaded.

Because there were fewer problems than anticipated, police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said it makes sense to pull back the barricades and cut down on security.

“Obviously, if something happens we can redeploy additional people,” Ramsey said. “But the barricades have been pretty much taken down and we will see how that works out for now.”

Mayor Michael Nutter would not say if and when the city is going to move the protesters in order to begin renovations to Dilworth Plaza.

“From the start, from literally before Occupy Philadelphia came to the city, we did let them know there was this longstanding project … with between 500 to 1,000 jobs involved,” said the mayor.

Nutter, who would not commit to a date for beginning the work on the plaza, did say the city and the protesters continue to communicate.

The bottom line, according to Ramsey, “is when the construction starts, they will have to be out of Dilworth Plaza.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.