City Controller: Philly Police Overtime Is Out of Control

Alan Butkovitz, the city controller of Philadelphia, says his 2012 audit shows that overtime at the Philadelphia Police Department is out of control.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz, who monitors the city's spending, says in 2012 the Philadelphia Police Department accumulated $64 million in overtime pay, a $7 million dollar increase from the year before. NBC10's Harry Hairston sat down with Butkovitz to investigate the internal management issues that he claims are the cause of the increase. (Published Monday, Feb 25, 2013)

    The man who monitors city spending claims Philadelphia Police officers have racked up tens of thousands of dollars in overtime pay.

    Alan Butkovitz is the city controller of Philadelphia, responsible for auditing all city departments. Butkovitz says his 2012 audit shows that overtime at the Philadelphia Police Department is out of control.

    “Line officers are still making their own decision about whether to do overtime and approving their own overtime without any preauthorization from supervisors,” said Butkovitz.

    Butkovitz tells NBC10 the Police Department’s overtime in 2012 increased by $7 million over the year before.

    “It’s zooming up to $64 million,” said Butkovitz.

    According to Butkovitz, the problem stems from a lack of internal control on personnel and payroll procedures.

    “There wasn’t even a line on the paper for the lieutenant or the supervisor to say they’ve looked at it and authorized the overtime,” said Butkovitz.

    City employee payroll records obtained by NBC10 show at least three police officers with a salary around $68,000 earned as much as $100,000 in overtime last year.

    “A difference of $7 million affects how effective you can be in fighting crime because it affects how many officers you can hire and how you can deploy them,” said Butkovitz.

    While the audit doesn’t challenge whether officers worked the over time, Butkovitz says in many cases that overtime isn’t approved by supervisors.

    “The management of the police department has to seriously take the responsibility to manage the overtime as they manage everything else," said Butkovitz.

    Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told NBC10 he would not comment until the report is officially released.