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Misappropriated resources

Melvin B. Miller
Misappropriated resources
“With the hours we get for overtime and details, we can say our police department never sleeps!”

One of the most challenging duties of a corporate CEO is to hold down costs while still providing quality goods and services. But this standard does not seem to apply to the administration of the police force. Policies are established to increase the compensation for police officers.

A recent article in the Bay State Banner illustrated how overtime is inflated. Trial documents that could be emailed from the Roxbury B-2 police station to the adjacent Roxbury Trial Court are carried next door by a police officer who then becomes entitled to a minimum of four hours overtime. According to financial records, the BPD spent almost $70 million in overtime in 2019.

More than 500 officers earned more than $200,000 last year with overtime, detail pay and other incentives; the highest income police officers earned more than $300,000 in 2019. That is excessive when one considered that the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff earn $172,000 per year. These are the commanders of the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.

Conservatives reject the proposal to “defund the police” on the grounds that budget cuts would endanger the public. However, roughly 90% of the police budget goes for salary and other revenue benefits. A major reduction in payroll would not impede law enforcement. In major cities, patrol officers spend less than 15% of their time dealing with crime.

According to a Boston Globe report, the average police department pay in Boston last year was $127,094, with an estimated $50,000 in overtime and detail pay. The average pay for a Boston Public Schools teacher was $87,787. This amounts to $39,307 less. Consequently, Boston is paying too much for the kind of work that those with training as teachers could better perform.

Another problem that public officials seem to be reluctant to correct is the fraud in overtime that has been common among the state police. Several officers were caught red-handed and others escaped detection because implicating records conveniently disappeared. The matter is still unresolved.

Those in the city and suburbanites have different opinions of the police. When the police go bad, urbanites will ultimately learn of the violations. It is difficult for Black youth to hold the highest respect for the police who continue
to scam the public treasury.

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