Lawmakers say universities should pay for police response to anti-Israel protests on campuses


Arrests of anti-Israel protesters are racking up at college campuses across the country and so are the tabs.

As cities are left to pay the costs for the police responses, officials and lawmakers are saying private universities should have to foot the bills.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Columbia University, New York University and other local private institutions should have to reimburse the city.


“We believe that they, too, should contribute to the cost, and one way to prevent the cost from escalating is to have a zero tolerance,” Adams told Fox 5’s “Good Morning New York” last Thursday. “As soon as that tent goes up, it comes down. Do not allow this to continue to expand.”

New York City Hall told FOX Business that overtime pay for the police departments has increased since police have had to intervene due to the protests.

Columbia reportedly asked the city to keep a police presence near campus through commencement activities next week. On Monday, the Ivy League school announced its university-wide commencement ceremony scheduled for May 15 was replaced with “smaller-scale, school-based celebrations,” after weeks of anti-Israel demonstrations and counter-protests on campus raised security concerns.

Columbia protests

That is why a bipartisan group of New York City council members in the Common Sense Caucus is calling on the school to reimburse the city for the expenses tied to the police response.

In a letter, council members said “the turmoil on Columbia’s campus is entirely of your university’s own making” and that “Columbia created this mess and Columbia, not New Yorkers, should pay to clean it up.”


The group also called on the school to tap into the paid details of the police force, which specializes in providing security for private places.

More than $5 billion in taxpayer money went toward the federal funding of the eight Ivy League schools in fiscal year 2023, a Fox News Digital review of financial records determined.

That year, Harvard received approximately $676.1 million; Princeton received $403 million; Yale $776.8 million; Columbia $1.2 billion; Penn $955.6 million; Brown $173.7 million; Dartmouth $133 million; and Cornell $736.3 million.


The New York City mayor’s office told FOX Business that it’s too early to know the exact amount of how much the police response to college campus protests has cost, but it has increased overtime pay for the police department.

FOX Business’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report

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