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Chief Bratton Tells Boston PD "Get Tough on OT Abuse"

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  • Chief Bratton Tells Boston PD "Get Tough on OT Abuse"

    OT EATS UP BPD CASH
    BRATTON URGES HUB TO GET TOUGH-“PROSECUTE ABUSE”
    The Boston Herald
    By: O’Ryan Johnson & Joe Dwinell

    America’s former top cop, William J. Bratton, is urging Hub police brass to throw the book at greedy officers abusing overtime, as a Herald review shows the city spends a bigger chunk of its law enforcement budget on OT than at least nine other major metropolitan departments across the nation.

    “There’s some number of officers always trying to play games with overtime,” Bratton told the Herald yesterday. “If you can show intentional acts of fraud to the city, it’s criminal.”

    Bratton, who’s run police departments in Boston, New York and Los Angeles, said oversight and disciplinary action — “maybe even criminal action” — are what’s needed.

    “For anything you want to control you have to inspect it,” said Bratton, who is now head of a private international security firm. “I did it in L.A.... There’s a potential for abuse, not just in Boston, but everywhere.”

    Bratton’s get-tough call to action comes as a Herald survey found Hub police brass spent a larger percentage of their budget on overtime than their counterparts in Phoenix, San Francisco, Baltimore, Denver, Kansas City and even New York City.

    Police overtime in Boston — $40 million last fiscal year — accounted for a whopping 14.7 percent of the total police budget.

    By comparison, Denver spent just 1.4 percent of its cop budget, Kansas City 1.7 percent, Phoenix 2.4 percent, Baltimore just over 5 percent and San Francisco 6.1 percent. Meanwhile the Big Apple spent just under 10 percent of its police budget on OT.

    Speaking for Police Commissioner Edward Davis, spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll responded to Bratton’s comments, saying the city has “consulted” with the Suffolk District Attorney on the department’s probe of allegations of rampant abuse of court overtime pay. Under their contract, officers automatically earn four hours of pay for a court appearance outside their shift even if it requires less than an hour of their time.

    Three police officers have been placed on administrative duty, and one is on paid leave, while the BPD mulls a department-wide OT audit.

    “Any evidence of criminal wrongdoing will be dealt with appropriately,” Driscoll said.

    She also said comparing cop overtime in Boston to OT in other cities is “unfair,” citing union contract rules and Davis’ push for community policing.

    “If we have a shortage of personnel, we have made a commitment to not removing walking beats,” she said, adding that cops working overtime have helped cut crime by 20 percent over the past four years.

    But other cities have found strategies to keep a lid on overtime.

    Phoenix has a police budget that is more than twice the size of Boston, but police there spent $13 million on overtime, less than one third of the Hub’s total.

    Phoenix Lt. Troy Dangerfield said police kept overtime costs to 2.4 percent of their total police budget by holding supervisors accountable.

    John Shane, a professor of police policy and practice at John Jay Criminal Justice College in New York, said police overtime is more likely to be a budget-buster in Eastern Seaboard cities, where unions are more powerful.

    “Across the northeast, between Boston and Washington D.C, you have old school police work,” he said. “The unions are exceptionally strong. The labor agreements are exceptionally generous. Down south and out west, you don’t find the same packages.”

    The only city surveyed that doled out a greater portion of its budget on overtime than Boston is Pittsburgh, which spent 15.7 percent, much of it, officials said, for citywide playoff celebrations of the town’s sports teams and a meeting of the G20 nations.
    Everybody counts or no one counts.
    -Harry Bosch



    Some of you may remember that in my early days I was sort of a bleeding heart liberal. Then I became a man and put away childish things.
    -Ronald Reagan

  • #2
    How is Bratton "America's former top cop"? I was unaware that there was a chief of police for the entire country.
    Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

    I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Exodus259
      Then increase your man power so the Officer's don't have to take up all this OT and you have a properly staffed department . . . Problem solved.
      Easier said than done.
      Everybody counts or no one counts.
      -Harry Bosch



      Some of you may remember that in my early days I was sort of a bleeding heart liberal. Then I became a man and put away childish things.
      -Ronald Reagan

      Comment


      • #4
        Just like any other job, I imagine someone has to approve the OT.

        Serious question, but if someone is "abusing" OT, doesn't that mean the person who approves said OT is complicit?

        Comment


        • #5
          How are they abusing the overtime if there authorized to work it? I can see if there getting paid for OT but not doing anything productive.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MDPOLICE View Post
            How are they abusing the overtime if there authorized to work it? I can see if there getting paid for OT but not doing anything productive.
            A lot of people are upset because of the amount of money being made by officers solely on overtime. For example, one sgt.'s salary was 80K but he ended up making nearly 250K b/c of overtime. Personally, I don't have a problem with it as long as the hours are being worked. If someone wants to work that many hours a week, be my guest.
            Everybody counts or no one counts.
            -Harry Bosch



            Some of you may remember that in my early days I was sort of a bleeding heart liberal. Then I became a man and put away childish things.
            -Ronald Reagan

            Comment


            • #7
              What the heck is OT? Never heard of it, isn't it something like working over and than getting $$$? What kind of fantasy world do you guys live in....pfff

              Comment


              • #8
                You don't have to pay benefits and pension to overtime, but you do to an additional officer.
                Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by stormz5192 View Post
                  You don't have to pay benefits and pension to overtime, but you do to an additional officer.
                  bingo
                  Everybody counts or no one counts.
                  -Harry Bosch



                  Some of you may remember that in my early days I was sort of a bleeding heart liberal. Then I became a man and put away childish things.
                  -Ronald Reagan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    After 34 years in this business, are you trying to tell me that there exists, no such creature as an "O/T Engineer?"

                    No one's ever committed overtime fraud? I worked LAPD and knew a bi-lingual sergeant (Russian) who submitted O/T for translation on a big, hush-hush, major crimes investigation....then one day, the lieutenant called the major crimes boss, asking how long this big hush-hush investigation would go on? The major crimes boss said no such investigation was going on. The sergeant made it all up. Fired and prosecuted for theft.

                    Look, if the O/T has been pre-approved, and has been worked...great! Pay the employee.

                    Emergency? Yes, it happens in LE. Pay the employee the O/T.

                    What, he sat at his desk for 7 hours playing solitaire, then decided to seek and serve a search warrant resulting in 12 hours O/T...and it happens like that every four weeks prior to his scheduled vacation, but never after? Yeah, something's not right here and it needs to be examined.
                    Last edited by Kieth M.; 03-07-2011, 03:17 PM.
                    "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                    Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      They are lucky they even get paid for OT!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MCAPO View Post
                        What the heck is OT? Never heard of it, isn't it something like working over and than getting $$$? What kind of fantasy world do you guys live in....pfff
                        Thank you.
                        "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - Orwell

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Last time I got OT was by accident - I was on a 5-day backcountry patrol in AK when Ronald Reagan died and they called an impromptu national holiday for the funeral. Man, was my boss ****ed that he had to pay me .

                          From what some of my colleagues in other agencies who DO get overtime have related, though, the abuse is in more of a gray area than simply claiming OT for time in which no work was done.

                          One example I can think of right off the bat is a buddy who works for a large municipal agency on the east coast. He says they try to make sure they get an arrest near the end of their shift so they can get OT for doing the paperwork. And even if they need to find a guy and hook him up and know that when the shift starts, they'll wait as long as possible, even passing the guy up if it's too early in the shift. Kinda messed up, IMO.

                          There's fraud in just about every aspect of employment (public and private) if you look for it. It just depends on who takes it seriously and when. Right now, as a public employee, you probably don't even want to be caught going to the restroom on the taxpayer's time. Actually, I'm surprised some ladder-climbing political hack hasn't already introduced a bill to take away government employees' bathroom breaks.
                          "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by stormz5192 View Post
                            You don't have to pay benefits and pension to overtime, but you do to an additional officer.
                            The increased hourly OT pay balances that out. One officer working 16 hours cannot accomplish as much as 2 officers working 8 hours each.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              4 hour minimum for court? what a friggin scam..lmfao! we get 2hrs minimum but it ends up covering travel time...

                              PS: Bratton, the Top Gypsy Chief, needs to hang it up...IMO.
                              Originally posted by crass cop
                              Just do it in front of a camera and try not to get a boner and you shoudl be fine.

                              Comment

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