The Michael Rosfeld homicide trial cost Pittsburgh over $1.5 million, the bulk of which was spent on police overtime, according to information provided by public safety officials to the Tribune-Review on Tuesday.
The city paid police $1.37 million in overtime during a month-long span from early March until after the close of the trial and ensuring demonstrations, said Director Wendell Hissrich.
Overtime costs for fire crews and EMS were $25,880 and $5,487, respectively.
Ancillary costs – including food and water, equipment and vehicle rentals – totaled $141,264, Hissrich said. That included a staging area where police and first responders could eat, get warm and take a breather.
Rosfeld was found not guilty of one count of homicide for the June 2018 shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose II. Rosfeld, then an East Pittsburgh police officer, conducted a felony traffic stop on a car in which Rose was a passenger. Rose and another teen ran, and Rosfeld opened fire.
“There were too many incidents throughout the United States where things escalated to the point there was violence,” Hissrich said of the investments and prep work leading up to the trial.
He said police began training soon after the shooting, knowing that there would eventually be a trial. The training came free from the Center for Domestic Preparedness, a program under the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The training involved crowd control and de-escalation techniques.
The Trib requested information about costs after the trial ended from public safety departments involved in it.
The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department, comparatively, spent about $500,000, half of which went to gas masks, helmets and other equipment in preparation for violent protests that never materialized.
Sheriff William Mullen said in the aftermath that his office was “preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.”
The other $250,000 went toward overtime and training costs, Mullen said.
The out-of-town jury in the Rosfeld trial cost the Allegheny County courts system nearly $40,000 and other expenses during the trial added about $10,000 more, according to figures provided by the court administration office.
Cost of the Michael Rosfeld trial to the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety