News Story

90 Hours A Week, 52 Weeks A Year: Detroit Cop Claims 2,617 Overtime Hours

Police tell CapCon it will investigate; six officers claimed 2,000+ overtime hours

The Detroit Police Department said it has started an investigation into a police officer who reported having 2,617.2 hours of overtime in fiscal year 2018. That much overtime, as revealed in city records, translates into an average of 90.3 hours worked every week of the year, and it includes overtime and regular shifts.

To accrue 2,617 hours of overtime, an employee would have to put in 7.16 hours of overtime a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Those hours boosted this one officer’s annual pay by $100,737 in 2018. Altogether, he collected $159,387 from the city that year.

“We have some concern, and we’ve launched an internal investigation to look more into this matter,” said Detroit Police Department Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood in an email to Michigan Capitol Confidential. “We take misusage of overtime very seriously and if we determine during the course of our investigation that a violation has occurred, then we will take appropriate actions.”

The Detroit police department listed in an email the different categories of overtime used by the officer who claimed 2,614 hours. The analysis was from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018.

His 2,614 hours included 1,912 hours of regular overtime pay for putting in hours beyond regular shifts. The officer also claimed 242 hours of overtime for taking care of a police dog in his own home. The officer also claimed 66 overtime hours when he was recalled to duty and another 696 hours of overtime for being on standby.

Six Detroit police employees claimed more than 2,000 hours of overtime last year. A police lieutenant claimed 2,008.1 hours of overtime, for which he received $117,451, boosting his total salary, not counting fringe benefits, to $202,163.

Not all these employees took their overtime compensation in extra cash. Many Michigan police departments allow officers to save, or bank, their overtime credits and use them later to take extra time off. Some departments let officers accrue their banked time for years until they use it to retire early or collect a big final paycheck upon retirement. Some departments also cap the amount of banked time an employee can accrue.

A Detroit police corporal claimed 2,471 overtime hours for which he collected $32,150. It is very likely that he banked some overtime credits. This individual’s total salary for the year was $94,542, not counting fringe benefits. To earn 2,471 hours of overtime, that employee would have had to work 87 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.

Overall, Detroit Police employees claimed 973,227 hours of overtime in 2018, for which they collected $38.3 million. That number does not include the value of banked time. The city of Detroit reported having 2,965 full-time positions in the police department in 2018, and the figures in this article came from the city’s response to an open records law request.