Dominican Day Parade cost the city more than $100,000 | Paterson Times

Dominican Day Parade cost the city more than $100,000


During the payment of bills on Tuesday, it emerged that the Dominican Day Parade cost the city more than $100,000, in public safety costs.

The parade which was witnessed by thousands of people from Paterson as well as from elsewhere resulted $106,000 in overtime cost for the Paterson Police Department. “I saw a massive police presence in the 5thWard,” said Rigo Rodriguez, councilman at-large. He suggests much of it was not necessary, and it made some parade attendees nervous. “I felt like a criminal passing by,” said Rodriguez. “What are we? Dominicans are criminals?”

During the parade weekend police issued more than 1200 tickets. Rodriguez maintained that preserving public safety does not require this much money, and he adds, “Half of that could have done the job.”

Charles Thomas, business administrator, defended the department by saying, “It wasn’t a police enforcement operation.” And he said there has been incidents in the past during the parade that resulted in the large police presence. And lack of incidents this year, means it worked. “I didn’t hear any kind of disruption,” said William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman, who wanted to see a report breaking down the costs.

“What did we get for $106,000,” asked McKoy. Thomas said historically it’s an expensive parade, and he will look to data from previous years to determine whether it is “comparable.” The City Council requested a report that would include all the officers who were involved in the parade with their rank and pay.

“I think there is a racket going on,” said McKoy. “Nobody is minding the store.” Thomas responded back saying, “The director and the mayor are minding the store.” In 2011, Jeffery Jones, the city’s mayor, attempted to withdraw police protection from the parade to save money, but the organizers of the event sued the city, and won.

  • EJ Belton

    It's the largest gathering of Dominicans in the country. It is the one parade / festival that Paterson actually does RIGHT. And yes, with so many people a strong police presence is necessary. However, if you wrote 1200 tickets, average of $50 a ticket, that is $60,000 right there. Now add how much money was brought to the Paterson economy by out of towners (and locals) who bought things at the festival afterwards and I would say we probably got a good return on our investment.

  • Lareana Organ

    What they did not report is that part of that money the organization of the Dominican Parade pay for it and that all business are full that day which generated taxes, so that generated income for the city. There was not incident, it means that the community behaved good and respect their patriotic celebrations. So if they do an economic report correctly, the city end up paying nothing, everything end up with a self plus. Be fare when you do a report.

  • Damaris Lugo

    The parade is nice how ever instead of wasting so much on overtime or parades how about helping those in need such as the food pantries, the low income people,single mothers etc. there is truly alot we can do for the people . I was born and raised in Paterson, . I find that the parades are a waste of time then all the money that goes into overtime .Where's the budget ? . Invest in helping Patersonians get ahead the less fortunate people get ahead. If there were to have parade then it should be the responsiblity of the parade committee to pay all expenses . They do hold events and they are not free they have events throughout the year and the after festival and the after party. And as far as increased police officers they should also be paid by the committee.