Boston City Council Asks BPD To Cut Overtime Spending

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Boston Police Department is being told it needs to cut its overtime spending, but officers say the pandemic makes it difficult.

The department has been able to cut overtime hours by nearly 15 percent and overtime spending by about 18 percent compared to 2019, but it's not as much as the Boston City Council was hoping for at this point in the year.

During a hearing, city councilors including Julia Mejia called on the department to find creative ways to cut down on the costs.

"The data that we received from the BPD and the ACLU only confirms what we already knew," Mejia said. "Police overtime spending is wasteful and often times lacks transparency."

The council took out $12 million from the department’s overtime funding over the summer, reallocating it to social services and programs to improve the community.

Police Superintendent James Hassan said the department is committed to reducing overtime under the new operating budget, but they haven't been able to follow up on their plan because of a rise in demonstrations and crime during the pandemic.

He said roughly half of overtime costs are flat during the 2020 fiscal year, and the department should acknowledge that achievement. But the city council says the department needs to do better to cut more, and keep spending in line with the rest of the annual city budget.

WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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