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The Oakland police officers logged more than $30 million in overtime pay last year-despite more than 80 per cent of the cases the lack of the proper documents, thanks to a system that has virtually no oversight.
According to the audit, 217, Oakland Police department officers about 30 per cent of the total power in each collected over 520 hours of overtime last year, in an amount in excess of $30 million, for a total of overtime.
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Last year was not an exception. Over the past four years, overtime pay has ranged from $28 million to $31 million, though the city has budgeted for about half of that amount, according to Reason magazine.
Auditors also found that one officer managed to get the clock for more than 2,600 hours of overtime in just one year, which is approximately equal to the 108-day around-the-clock work. In the meantime, the 24 officers, between 1,249 and 2,599 hours.
The exact duties that are still carried out in order to earn extra-money, it remained unclear, according to the audit, as 83% of the cases, there was no proper documentation. As a result, the department does not efficiently interact with each other, to make reconciliation between the schedule and the payroll systems, which would allow for an accurate over-time.
The report argues that inefficient overtime pay system is not only cost taxpayers millions, but will also reduce the police force.
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“The workload, tiredness, it can lead to a deterioration in the experience of health, have a higher risk of injury and illness,” the audit report is to be read. In particular, in a high-stress, unpredictable environments, such as the police, the work, fatigue and, in turn, can lead to a greater likelihood of poor decision-making, which is the health and safety consequences for individuals or the community in which they serve.”
“The workload, tiredness, it can lead to a deterioration in the experience of health, have a higher risk of injury and illness. In particular, in a high-stress, unpredictable environments, such as the police, the work, fatigue and, in turn, can lead to a greater likelihood of poor decision-making, which is the health and safety consequences for individuals or the community in which they serve.”
The report also notes that the department is suffering from policies that institutionalize inefficiency by allowing officers to obtain 1.5 hours of comp time for each hour of overtime worked.
According to the Reason for that is, when an agent makes use of “comp time,” and that he or she has gained by working with other officers to work overtime in order to fill the gap. This creates a perpetual cycle of over-time, with 10 hours of overtime to make 15 hours of comp time that has been filled by officers working overtime that is incurred to restart the comp time that needs to be filled in.
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The audit found that the city did not address the issues relating to the compensation practices that were raised back at the end of 2015.