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Baltimore police take overtime work during vacation

July 8th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Baltimore police officers have a practice of picking up overtime shifts while on paid vacation to make double the money, a report from the city’s inspector general said.

Investigators found the strategy of getting routine money from a paid vacation day plus overtime money for working a shift while off is allowed under the police union contract, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The report stems from a complaint to the Office of the Inspector General that employees were collecting overtime pay they weren’t entitled to. The investigators wrote that they referred these allegations to the police department’s Public Integrity Bureau.

Police overtime spending exceeded $50 million in fiscal year 2019 and $43 million last fiscal year. That’s more than $12 million over budget for overtime in the last two fiscal years combined, the investigators wrote.

In response to the inspector general’s report, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison wrote that he instituted oversight procedures that helped bring down overtime expenses, and added that overtime spending is on pace to fall to $32 million in fiscal year 2021.

Councilman Mark Conway said he would convene a meeting next month of the Public Safety and Government Operations Committee to take up the issue of double pay.