Seattle Police Department wasted $1 million in excessive overtime, internal watchdog says

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(File photo/KCPQ)

SEATTLE — A report by the Seattle Police Department’s internal watchdog Office of Professional Accountability slams the department for wasting at least $1 million on officer overtime.

The problem happened in the Training Division, where lax policies allowed officers to collect overtime on vacation days, and for work that should have been part of their regular jobs.  One officer even received 31.5 hours of overtime for a 24-hour period.

The study by the independent OPA attributed the waste to an outdated accounting system and poor leadership.   It reads, in part:

“Supervisors failed to keep overtime spending within budget, did not have tight supervisory controls and did not keep accurate records … The money spent produced little of value.”

All the problems cited in the report happened in 2013 while Mike McGinn was still mayor.

In response to the report, new Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole says that her office has implemented a new system to track overtime and to flag problems as they arise.

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2 comments

  • John Fuller

    Someone needs to be fired, but never will unless the Department of Justice places mandates… There is absolutely no accountability within the Seattle Police Department which is why they burned through a million dollars in the first place. They were widely known to use excessive force, but nobody would listen until an officer killed a Native American wood carver. The police department has become an utter blight on the Seattle community with repeated embarrassment in case after case of flagrant disregard for the law and civil rights. Why kill unarmed citizens that are often in need of medication and/or mental health assessment, while there are viable alternatives for taking suspects into custody? Trained officers in riot gear with plexiglass shields and batons can easily take down many that are often buried at the expense of the taxpayer. Take suspects to the King County Jail or Western State Hospital and allow judges to determine if they are worthy of execution.

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