North Carolina's flagship public university has spent nearly $400,000 protecting a Confederate monument from vandals in the year since violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, focused new attention on rebel symbols.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports officials at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill released a statement Thursday saying the $390,000 spent to protect the statue of a Southern soldier came from the campus police operating budget and covered personnel and operating expenses.
The price tag is approximate because UNC officials said they don't track individual officer assignments around the statue.
The 2017-18 fiscal-year cost was significantly lower than the $621,000 estimate UNC Police Chief Jeff McCracken provided campus Chancellor Carol Folt last August. That estimate came as university leaders warned Gov. Roy Cooper of "significant safety and security threats" around the statue nicknamed Silent Sam.