News Story

Detroit Cop Claims And Gets Paid For 12-Plus Hours A Day, 365 Days A Year

Seven others paid amount equal to 11-hour days — every day of the year

Editor's note: The Detroit Police Department responded after this story was published. Here's their comment:

There are a number of factors that can contribute to the accumulation of overtime. Last year we had 650+ members quarantine as a result of the COVID pandemic, we had officers redeployed from precincts to address the 120+ days of protest that took place across the city, we also had officers assigned to the drifting and drag racing detail to address the illegal street racing. All of these factors, including sick time and vacation time, create OT. Homicides can also create overtime for detectives, especially when incidents occurs towards the end of a shift.

If there is a slot in a shift that needs to be filled to meet minimum staffing requirements then overtime will be authorized, to ensure that there are no interruptions to services for our community.

It is also important to note that the department take steps to ensure that officers who work extended hours are safe. Supervisors are required to remain watchful for signs of fatigue and to take necessary actions if it is observed.

Absent extraordinary circumstances, officers may not work beyond a total of 16 continuous hours in a one 24-hour period.

A Detroit Police Department lieutenant collected 2,501.1 hours of overtime pay in 2020, which raised his pay to $255,244.

A lieutenant would have had to put in more than 6.8 hours of overtime per day, 365 days a year, to accumulate 2,501.1 hours of overtime. When combined with 2,080 hours at the regular rate (40 hours per week for 52 weeks), that comes to 4,581.1 hours on the job in a single year.

To accumulate that much time, this officer would have had to work the equivalent of 12.55 hours on every day last year, including holidays and weekends.

If this individual took any time off at all, it would be extremely difficult to build up that much overtime.

According to city records, eight Detroit police department employees each claimed more than 2,000 hours of overtime last year. With regular hours included, this would be the equivalent of working more than 11 hours per day, 365 days a year.

Here are the amounts of overtime reported by those seven other police employees:

Police sergeant: 2,444.8 hours

Police corporal: 2,377.2 hours

Police corporal: 2,258.8 hours

Police officer: 2,145 hours

Police detective: 2,065.1 hours

Police detective: 2,061 hours

Detention facility officer: 2,043 hours

The Detroit Police Department said in a March 7 email that it would provide an explanation for the high amounts of overtime, but as of April 20, Michigan Capitol Confidential has not received one.

[Editor's note: The city responded in a April 21 email stating The Detroit Police Department said what they record as “overtime hours” may not be traditional overtime. Time spent training and standby time are recorded as “overtime” by the department. A police department employee would not receive additional pay for standby time but it is still coded as “overtime.”]

2020 was not the first year that Detroit police have claimed very high levels of overtime.

In 2018, an officer claimed 2,617.2 hours of overtime. This translated into the equivalent of 90.3 hours on the job per week, 52 weeks a year.

When asked to explain this earlier example, the Detroit police department also told Michigan Capitol Confidential it was investigating. But the city of Detroit has yet to reply to multiple requests for information on what, if anything, an investigation found.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.