Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Detroit Police Overtime Reductions Save Taxpayers Nearly $7 Million

Since Mayor Dave Bing appointed Chief of Police Warren Evans, the Detroit Police Department has reduced its overtime spending by nearly 30%, resulting in a $6.7 million savings so far this fiscal year. The city’s fiscal year begins July 1st and ends June 30th of each year.

In the first three quarters (July-March) of fiscal year 2008-09, the Detroit Police Department spent approximately $23.3 million in overtime expenses, the vast majority on sworn personnel. Chief Evans was appointed just days into the new fiscal year. During the same period of the 2009-10 fiscal year, the DPD has spent $16.6 million. This is a 28.6% reduction, or $6.7 million in savings.

“Mayor Bing has directed all city operations to manage their resources more effectively and that’s what we are doing,” Chief Evans said.

“Without any additional revenue, we have returned 100 officers to street patrol and have registered consistent reductions in homicides and non-fatal shootings. We also have made great strides in improving our average 911 response times,” Chief Evans said. “The fact that we have been able to do this while reducing overtime expenses by nearly 30 percent demonstrates that the Detroit Police Department is beginning to run more efficiently and effectively.”

Chief Evans said he has been able to reduce the department’s overtime without negatively impacting services largely by moving the 100 officers back to patrol duties, which is where a majority of overtime is generated. He also says that stronger performance accountability standards and closer scrutiny of how and when overtime is approved has played a big role.

“In addition to relying far less on the use of overtime in general, we are being much more strategic with the overtime that we do use,” Chief Evans said. “We don’t want overtime to be an excuse for not identifying a more efficient way of getting things done. Overtime should be the last resort, not the first.”

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