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Education

How Much Has UNC-Chapel Hill Spent On Security Around Silent Sam?

20170822_couch_silentsam-18.jpg
Matt Couch
/
WUNC
File photo of the Silent Sam statue on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past year to provide security around its contentious Confederate monument. UNC police estimate that between July 2017 and July 2018, the campus has spent $393,000 dollars on security around Silent Sam.

The University released that figure at the request of the News & Observer.  It is an approximation because the UNC Police department does not track individual officer assignments around the monument. The estimate includes personnel costs for campus police, as well as operating expenses, and assistance from other law enforcement agencies.  Three thousand dollars went to clean vandalism from the statue. 

UNC-Chapel Hill increased its police security around the monument following an attack on ant-racist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, that set off heightened debate around Confederate symbols nationwide.

In a statement, officials said the University's primary goal is to protect students, faculty, staff and visitors:

Since the tragic events in Charlottesville last August, UNC Police have heightened security around the Confederate Monument to protect students, faculty, staff and visitors, which is the University’s primary goal. Protecting the monument is always secondary to the safety of the people around it. The campus community has a long tradition of peaceful protests and respectful debate.

The University also said in its statement that its police and administrators are "most concerned about outside groups, over which the University has no control."

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