Oakland Police Overtime Costs Expected to Hit $30M, Double Budget Estimate

Oakland police work long hours. And they make a pretty penny.

A city audit released last week shows the department is on track to spend $30.3 million this year in overtime costs, nearly double what the city council budgeted, as first reported by the East Bay Express. The council had budgeted $16.3 million.

Last week, Oakland's new city auditor, Brenda Roberts, presented the results of an audit showing that the past four years have seen the most dramatic rise in police overtime in recent history, from $14 million in overtime in the 2009–2010 fiscal year to $24.7 million in 2013–2014.

Roberts told the alternative news weekly that cutbacks in sworn officers starting in 2010 is the biggest reason for the overtime as the police department began to rely on overtime to put the bare minimum of officers on the streets. The department’s numbers dropped from 830 in 2009 to a low of 613 in 2013.

Oakland has spent approximately $232 million on police overtime over the past decade. In addition, since 1999, OPD has exceeded its overtime budget in every year except one, totaling $81 million in extra spending.

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