Albuquerque Police is taking a good look at the way officers are using overtime, and for the first time in more than a year, the department is putting a limit on how much overtime officers can work in a week.
“Through our look at overtime, there really hasn’t been comprehensive management. Like who’s doing the most overtime? How is it affecting their job?” APD spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos said.
According to Gallegos, last year Albuquerque Police spent $11.5 million paying officers to work overtime. There are nearly a dozen different types of overtime programs within the department, including holiday tac-plans, checkpoints and training. Then there’s something called “chief’s overtime” where private businesses pay to have an officer on site.
“It helps them deter crime, and then they’re there to help respond quickly to crime,” Gallegos said.
Last year, more than 100 businesses took part in chief’s overtime, and for the last 16 months officers were allowed to work as much chief’s overtime as they wanted. Not anymore.
“We’re capping the overtime,” Gallegos said.
According to Gallegos, through March, officers are only allowed to work 25 hours of chief’s overtime per week. It still seems like a lot, but APD says the demand is there.
“With staffing having been so low that cap has been lifted for quite some time,” Gallegos said.
APD is also bumping up the price businesses will have to pay if they want police presence. Since officers recently received a raise, Gallegos said the rate needs to be comparable to that.
“We still think it’s reasonable and an affordable thing for them,” he said.
However, the department hopes now that it’s increasing its number of officers, overtime costs will go down.
“In the past it’s been taken for granted that in the end, we have as much money as we need for overtime, but you know that’s going to change,” Gallegos said.
APD currently has more than 900 officers. Gallegos said APD will take a look after March to see how the cap on chief’s overtime is working.
This is the first time in nearly a decade the department has increased its rates for its chief’s overtime program.