2/7/2014 1:18:00 PM Chicago police OT cost about $103M in 2013
CHICAGO (AP) — The city of Chicago spent more than $100 million on police overtime in 2013, including 107 officers who collected more than $50,000 each in overtime.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy have touted lower crime statistics, saying they’ve changed tactics to combat crime. That includes putting more officers in the city’s most violent areas.
McCarthy has said it’s cheaper for the city to pay overtime than hire more officers with full benefits.
However, some aldermen and the police union have said the overtime spending is out of control and worry about officer fatigue.
The newspaper reports the city spent $103 million on police overtime, about half of the $197 million Emanuel paid for all city workers’ overtime.
The city led the nation in homicides in 2012 with more than 500. It ended 2013 with 415 homicides — the lowest total in nearly half a century but still far more than any other U.S city, including much larger Los Angeles and New York. The overall crime rate fell last year to a level not seen since 1972, and the number of shooting incidents involving victims 16 and younger dropped 40 percent in 12 months, officials say.
Emanuel said he does not expect the department to spend nearly as much on police overtime this year as authorities shift their focus to a core group of about 1,000 offenders believed to be responsible for much of the crime.