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$80,000+ spent by law enforcement so far monitoring Bent Mountain tree-sitters

Protester 'Red' Terry has been up in trees since April 2

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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – The Roanoke County Police Department and Virginia State Police have already spent nearly $85,000 in response to the tree-sitting protest on Bent Mountain.

Theresa “Red” Terry, 61, and her daughter Minor, 30, have spent the last month in covered platforms suspended in trees in two separate locations on the family’s Roanoke County property in Bent Mountain, protesting the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which will run through their land.

Red has been up in the trees since April 2.

The cost estimate for the Roanoke County Police Department from April 12 to April 28 is $49,613, according to county spokeswoman Amy Whittaker.

That number includes regular time and overtime, as well as equipment and supplies, said Whittaker.

"This is a very difficult situation to begin with," said Whittaker, who explained that police are simply following the court order. "Certainly it will be a significant amount of money between having police around the clock. There are all kinds of associated costs that go along with that."

For that same time period, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the overtime costs associated with state police resources assisting Roanoke County police on Bent Mountain have reached $33,944.05. 

"Because this is a planned assignment, state police purposefully schedules personnel in an effort to minimize overtime costs," said Geller.