The University Police Department (UPD) spent approximately $15,800 on campus security for the Milo and Unite events on Tuesday, according to an email from university spokesperson Matt Lazier.
Controversial speaker Milo Yiannopoulos gave his speech in Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre while the Unite event with comedian W. Kamau Bell and musician Allen Stone was in the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC).
“I am very grateful to University Police Chief George Hughes, his team, and all of the other local and CSU officers who helped us provide a safe environment for everyone to express their opinions passionately but peacefully Tuesday night,” Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong said in an email. “As we have seen at other recent events both before and after the one at Cal Poly, Milo Yiannopoulos’s appearances have sometimes led to unrest and violence. Our University Police were prepared for the worst-case scenario, and I believe that’s what allowed us to avoid it, maintain calm and give everyone an opportunity to express their voice.”
According to Lazier, this money was spent to keep the entire campus safe. Cal Poly officials had learned of protests and violence that occurred at other Yiannoplous’ tour events and had seen social media posts indicating protesters were planning on shutting the event down.
The costs covered temporary fencing around Spanos Theatre, along with increased law enforcement for both events, nearby residence halls and other parts of campus.
There were 19 UPD officers and an additional 90 officers from around the California State University (CSU) system and San Luis Obispo County at the event.
UPD also paid for food and lodging for CSU officers from other campuses in the system through the CSU’s Critical Response Unit. The CSU spent about an additional $39,600 on salaries for those officers, according to Lazier.
“The university believes its preparation and law enforcement presence had a direct correlation to the evening progressing relatively peacefully and without arrests or violent altercations — unlike what occurred at some other campuses where Yiannopoulos’ tour stopped,” Lazier said in an email.