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Chief: About $1 Million Spent on Police Overtime in Last Year

The department has $800,000 in its budget for fiscal year 2013.

Facing a shortage in manpower, the Medford Police Department has doled out about $1 million in overtime pay in the last year, police Chief Leo Sacco said Wednesday. That's about $400,000 more than budgeted for.

Sacco appeared before the City Council Wednesday as it undergoes its review of the municipal budget.

The big spending on overtime was partly a result of a delay in the hiring of six new police officers, according to Sacco, who were included in the 2012 fiscal budget but won't be entering academy until later this month. The 2012 fiscal year for the city ends June 30. Money budgeted for the six positions -- $327,744 -- was used to offset the increase in overtime, Sacco said. The 2013 budget as proposed would increase the overtime budget from $600,000 to $800,000.

The six new patrolmen will bring the total number of police officers in the city up to 99, that's 33 fewer than Medford had in 2000, Sacco said.

Budget Down as Quinn Bill Funding Gets Axed

Overall, the police budget is slated to fall from $10.84 million in 2012 to $10.62 million in 2013. That includes a $522,000 reduction in funding Quinn Bill benefits, which pay for higher education expenses for police officers.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that municipalities are not responsible for paying the state's half of Quinn Bill funding. The police budget had $1.07 million for the purpose of higher education in 2012.

The reduction drew some criticism from City Councilor Paul Camuso, who said the city needed to come to an agreement with the police union before cutting Quinn Bill funding.

"It may not be a realistic number," Camuso said.

Camuso attempted to take the council into executive session to discuss the matter, but city Budget Director Stephanie Burke refused, saying she could not discuss it since it was part of a contract negotiation with the police union.

City Councilor Robert Maiocco said he expected money to be transferred to compensate for the reduction.

"There will be money coming for a transfer into this account," he said. "I don’t know when it's coming, but its going to be a good chunk of dough."

Aside from the cut in Quinn Bill funding, the other line items in the police budget total a $304,628 increase.

Odds and Ends

The following items are included in the expenses section of the police department's budget. None are new for 2013.

  • Laundry, $1,000
  • Food for Prisoners, $2,000
  • uniforms, $42,000
  • K-9 supplies, $2,800
  • Plaques/Merit Badges, $1,000
Ronnie June 15, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Keep beating up the police when the amount they do with less officers is more. Makes no sense to me.
Frank Mulligan August 04, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Folks Medford"s Budget is being cut. School now Police. This is nothing new for Medfrod as long as Michael Mc Glynn is in OFFICE.Medford needs change's FAST. Good Luck Folks.
Arthur DeLuca August 05, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Excuse me? You want the budget to be increased so that we all pay more taxes instead of decreased so that we do not? Firrst people complain about the too high taxes, then they complain that services are cut and our City is falling apart. You can't have it both ways, people. Even if no one in the City ever got a raise and no additions to staff were ever made, the cost of running a City will always go up by virtue of the fact that anything the City needs to buy will increase in price over the years. Unless we give the City a way to raise its own money rather than taxing and charging fees for services and licenses, our taxes will ALWAYS go up. Maybe it's time for people to start doing more for themselves & each other, and asking government to do less for them. There was no Federal income tax before WWII. It was introduced to pay for the War and stayed forever. How did the government run before taxes? We need to look at that and then go back to those days if we ever want to pay LESS in income and other taxes.

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