L.A. police union wants more overtime, not more officers

  • Share
  • Bookmark to Delicious
  • Bookmark to StumbleUpon
  • Comment on this story

In what appears to be a sharp turnaround from a standard union position, the Los Angeles Police Protective League is telling the city to stop hiring new officers, and instead, pay its existing members more overtime.

In an interview and article submitted to the Los Angeles Times, union president Paul M. Weber is asking the city to not replace retiring or resigning police officers. Weber’s reasoning for his suggestion is that officers used to earn as much as an additional 50 percent compensation for overtime work. Ever since the financial crisis hit the city two years ago, officers are now required to take time off as compensation for scheduled overtime.

Matt Szabo, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s deputy chief of staff said, “It’s hard to imagine how the union is motivated here by the public’s safety.” Since Villaraigosa was elected and began increasing the headcount of police officers, crime has fallen significantly. Despite the city’s extreme financial crisis, the mayor is committed to hiring more officers to maintain the level that it’s been at since he took office.

The union says that the money would be better spent on fewer officers and allowing them to routinely rack up overtime, and hiring civilian workers to do office jobs that police officers are currently handling.

Not mentioned by either party is the issue of overtime and how it affects the retirement pay of those officers about to retire. Since overtime is used in the calculation that fixes the base salary for purposes of retirement pay, critics say that the department routinely funneled overtime assignments to officers in the final year before their retirement, in order to boost their retirement benefits by as much as 20 to 30 percent.

Los Angeles Times

  • expose this
  • Share
  • Bookmark to Delicious
  • Bookmark to StumbleUpon
Comment on this Article:

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.