Cobb County’s bill for World Series? $437K in police overtime

Fans attend a watch party at The Battery at Truist Park in Cobb County on Oct. 26, 2021. (Photo: Branden Camp/AJC File)
Caption
Fans attend a watch party at The Battery at Truist Park in Cobb County on Oct. 26, 2021. (Photo: Branden Camp/AJC File)

Credit: Branden Camp

Credit: Branden Camp

Cobb County spent more than expected to provide security at Atlanta Braves games during their historic World Series run.

Cobb County spent about $437,000 on manpower and equipment for the home team’s tilt against the Houston Astros, according to a budget report county officials provided The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

That’s nearly $90,000 more than Cobb planned to spend on the Fall Classic.

The Braves hosted three games at their stadium between Oct. 29-31 en route to claiming the franchise’s first World Series title in 26 years. Fans packed viewing parties at The Battery Atlanta while sellout crowds filled Truist Park.

County officials said crowds were larger than expected and required more deputies, police officers and sheriff’s deputies to handle traffic and parking and ensure crowd safety.

“We and the Braves were surprised at the number of people who didn’t have tickets, but just wanted to come to The Battery and enjoy the ambiance near the stadium,” Cobb County spokesman Ross Cavitt said Monday. “There ended up being more people there than anybody expected. So we had to plus up manpower to deal with the crowds in The Battery.”

Even when the Braves were on the road in Houston, The Battery Atlanta filled to capacity from thousands of fans who flocked to the shopping complex surrounding Truist Park to watch the games.

The crowds only intensified during the home games, particularly on Halloween night when the Braves had a chance to clinch the championship at Truist Park.

“It was literally shoulder to shoulder in The Battery,” Cavitt said.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jeremy Blake said with several agencies working together, the key was good communication. Agencies used their social media pages to let visitors know when The Battery was full or when certain gates at Truist Park were closed.

“To make sure we were all on the same page, that we knew what was going on,” Blake. “But the communication goes further than that. We also had to communicate with the public.”

Three days before the Fall Classic descended upon Truist Park, Cobb County earmarked $350,000 from its Board of Commissioners budget to beef up security. The county will use contingency dollars from the same fund to cover the un-budgeted overages.

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The county police department was the most active local agency, accounting for about $326,000 of the overtime costs.

The Sheriff’s Office had at least 29 uniformed deputies help out with crowd control. So far the agency tallied $29,000 worth of OT on the Fall Classic. Department heads are still finalizing the sheriff’s overtime costs and are expected to submit them to the Board of Commissioners in early December, according Sheriff’s Office and Cobb County officials said.

“It took more manpower than we expected only because there were more people there than we expected,” Cavitt said.

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