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

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  • DAL
    replied
    Originally posted by nefto View Post
    I don't believe it's a union problem it's a supervision problem. When I worked evenings, I would go to jail a couple hours into the shift and never failed to see the exact same days officers sitting in the reporting area playing solitaire on the computers. They had brought in a "late arrest" and were running up the OT clock. The jail supervisors knew what they were doing and never did anything about it. In fact, there was a long running joke about other people being on OT, when they were staying on something squirrelly or were taking too long on a simple report.
    It still sounds like fraud to me, only the supervisors were complicit, so it's conspiracy to commit fraud.

    Leave a comment:


  • nefto
    replied
    I don't believe it's a union problem it's a supervision problem. When I worked evenings, I would go to jail a couple hours into the shift and never failed to see the exact same days officers sitting in the reporting area playing solitaire on the computers. They had brought in a "late arrest" and were running up the OT clock. The jail supervisors knew what they were doing and never did anything about it. In fact, there was a long running joke about other people being on OT, when they were staying on something squirrelly or were taking too long on a simple report.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sgt Jack
    replied
    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.”

    Sounds like it's more of blame the greedy unions...not for nothing but the city has to sign off on the contract as well, people seem to forget that. Plus living in the greater Boston area is not cheap by any means...even making 100k doesn't go all that far... My understanding is Boston like a lot of Mass depts is understaffed..Hell my dad worked in a city next to Boston, from the late 60's to the early 90's the dept had over 120 officers..all cars during the evening and overnight were 2 man, they ran 5 or 6 cars plus a wagon..not that long ago he talked to someone that still works there..now they have less than 100 officers and the overnight shift runs 3-4 ONE man cars..this is for a city of 45000 btw. So if Boston wants to pay out the OT to keep up their staffing levels..so be it. Sounds like Bratton is trying to make a name for himself not to mention he's been gone from Boston for quite some time.

    Leave a comment:


  • willowdared
    replied
    We have comp time too, but a couple years ago they put cap on how much you could accrue. We have buckets for the comp time you get for all government holidays and another one for time worked.

    It's tough to get time off when you have staffing issues though.

    Leave a comment:


  • ryker
    replied
    I'd guess there is a balance nationwide- some officer fraud the OT and likewise some agencies illegally demand workers complete task off the clock.

    A proper schedule could prevent much of this. Built in courtdays. Built in paperwork catch up hours.
    Last edited by ryker; 03-09-2011, 09:34 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Iowa #1603
    replied
    Originally posted by willowdared View Post
    There's also a point where OT kicks you into a higher tax bracket so you don't really end up taking home as much as you think you are.
    Back when I was able to get OT it was at about 13 hrs of OT per week.. Anything after that I took as comp time.

    My posting really doesn't have much to do with how the Overtime is paid out..............it has to do with the economics of budgeting & the benefits for the employer.


    But for purpose of this discussion it doesn't matter. OT is OT no matter how it is compensated ( paid cash or Comp time off)

    Leave a comment:


  • chad7613
    replied
    Since Phoenix was mentioned in the article I remember when I was working for a Phoenix metro area department as a civilian employee. Officers got paid a minimum of 3 hours OT for court even if it was less than that. Also they bill for 3 hours minimum on off duty jobs so if you only needed the off duty officer for an hour you had to pay for 3. Now the city offers the officers the abililty to take comp time instead of the OT. A lot of officers I know who still work for said department say they actually like being able to build up their comp time as opposed to just getting the OT. Some departments work four 10 hour shifts with 3 day weekends. If you have comp time you can take an extra day or two and go out of town and still get paid which costs the city less $ than OT but it also short staffs the squad. If the OT was approved then something else is probably wrong, maybe you should look at your court proceedings and see if the prosecutors are not using the officers court time wisely or maybe the paperwork policy of your department needs to be changed. A lot of the departments I've looked at to seek employment since most of the AZ departments aren't hiring allow their officers to hold reports over to their next shift as long as it's not their friday for non essential reports. ( a burglary report which was called in after the victim returned from 3 days away from home on a friday night can be held till monday. Working a F-M schedule.) Not a bad idea if you ask me. It allows officers to spend more time on the streets on busy nights instead of having to stop and do reports with 3 hours left in your shift.
    Last edited by chad7613; 03-09-2011, 03:10 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • DAL
    replied
    I don't think that fraud is OK just because you get someone to approve it. Supervisors are rightly entitled to place some degree of trust in their subordinates.

    In addition to the examples Kieth M gives, I know of instances where officers exaggerated or falsified court time for weeks. Is the supervisor supposed to call the court clerk and Deputy D.A. to verify the starting and ending times each day?

    If you really believe such exaggeration is OK, then you should accept the proposition that lawyers do not commit fraud if they overstate their hours but their clients pay the bill. I do not accept that for lawyers, and I don't accept it for police officers.

    Leave a comment:


  • willowdared
    replied
    Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
    There is a financial break point where OT no longer becomes beneficial.
    There's also a point where OT kicks you into a higher tax bracket so you don't really end up taking home as much as you think you are.

    Leave a comment:


  • kam81
    replied
    Originally posted by LaPlaca View Post
    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.
    how is it a "scam"....i call it good pay/benefits negotiating on the part of the police officers association

    Leave a comment:


  • Iowa #1603
    replied
    Originally posted by stormz5192 View Post
    You don't have to pay benefits and pension to overtime, but you do to an additional officer.
    Originally posted by Fëanor View Post
    The increased hourly OT pay balances that out. One officer working 16 hours cannot accomplish as much as 2 officers working 8 hours each.
    There is a financial break point where OT no longer becomes beneficial.

    Most departments budget on the cost of employing a police officer to be roughly 1/3 more than his/her annual salary. This takes into account all fringe benefits, pension payments, vacation, equipment, & other incidentals. In some departments that figure could be higher, but is rarely lower. In other words a $60,000 dollar a year officer actually costs the budget roughly $80,000.

    That officer makes roughly $29 per hour and $43 per hr on OT. I can pay out roughly 1850 hrs of overtime for the total cost of an additional officer. Considering that 52 weeks @ 40 hrs is 2080 hrs-----------I can save a lot of money approving overtime rather than hire, train, equip, & work another officer.

    Most departments also budget for OT. My facility budgeted roughly 8% of our $35 million dollar annual budget for OT on roughly 350 employees. Therefore we could spend $2,800,000.00 on overtime before going over budget. The Security (Correctional Officers) department(240 staff) took up the majority of that budget since we were the only 24/7/365 manning.

    Feanor-----------------while an accountant might not be able to accomplish as much working a double shift as a two accountants would be able to , police work isn't that way. Efficiency might be slightly diminished at the tail end of a 16 hr shift...............actual output for an officer is rarely affected.

    Leave a comment:


  • stormz5192
    replied
    It's not uncommon for our guys to bring in at least $10,000 in OT a year, with the top OT guys pulling $40-$50,000 in OT. It's budgeted for and we must a indicate reasons on the OT slip, so it can be tracked. It then is reviewed by their SGT, the patrol commander and finally the Deputy Chief before payment is approved.

    Leave a comment:


  • willowdared
    replied
    If OT is being abused, it's on the admin not the officers, since someone has to sign off on it.

    Like KiethM said, barring an in-house auditor doing a pattern check, any supervisor should be keeping track of trends...it's not rocket science.

    Our department has always tracked OT, and as money dries up they have ended practices that used to be auto-OT (like POST classes) and now use shift adjustments where practical.

    Leave a comment:


  • ryker
    replied
    Proper schedule. Proper leadership.

    Or "crack down" on OT and officers will put on dark sunglasses. 1hr before shift change it's "see no evil hear no evil" = zero work and zero paperwork.

    Modernize procedures and trim out the wastefull time consuming paperwork.

    Leave a comment:


  • LaPlaca
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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