San Jose Police Overtime Costs on the Rise

SJPD pays $16 million in overtime as staffing levels fall

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has uncovered new documents showing an unprecedented increase in overtime paid out to San Jose police officers last year.

Wednesday, the city of released its payroll records for 2012. The numbers support what San Jose police have been saying for month: the reduction in officers on the street has created an increased demand for overtime.

In 2011, SJPD spent $12.3 million on overtime. That number jumped to $16.7 million in 2012. That’s a 35 percent increase of more than $4 million in just one year.

James Gonzales with the San Jose Police Officer Union said the increase should not come as a shock.

“When you have a loss of over 400 officers in a police department, you’ve got to keep the ship afloat somehow. The only way to provide police protection is through overtime,” Gonzales said. “It’s not a system that’s sustainable.”

Our analysis of the data provided by the city of San Jose includes a breakdown by position, revealing that most of the overtime increase was spent on rank and file police officers. Out of the $4 million additional dollars spent on overtime, 74% went to police officers.

“As we have an exodus of police officers, the overtime will continue to increase to fill the spots where the actual body should be,” Gonzales said.

In 2011, the average police officer earned an extra $8.6 thousand in overtime pay. That number jumped 53% to $13.3 in 2012.

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