PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Police Bureau spent $15.7 million on overtime for nearly 250,00 extra hours in 2018.
A report released Tuesday by the city auditor concluded the bureau needs to improve overtime management to prevent officer fatigue.
“Whether a City bureau is staffed appropriately or not, overtime use must be well managed,” said Auditor Mary Hull Caballero in a press release. “Exhausted and overworked officers pay a price in terms of their own well-being, and the community shoulders the cost in the quality of police services they receive.”
Data shows one patrol officer worked a 97-hour week at one point. In addition to his usual shifts, he picked up extra shifts to cover staff shortages, testified in court and did other overtime work.
The auditor said PPB could reduce the demand for overtime by using data and timely reports, placing limits on the amount of overtime officers can work and taking control of the time officers work on contracts for other employers.
The mayor’s office released the following statement:
I would like to thank the Auditor’s office for taking the time to review how the Portland Police Bureau manages the use of overtime. It reveals what many in the community have known for a long time – that our officers work tirelessly every single day and routinely work long hours to respond to the many calls for service in our city.
The auditor’s findings underscore our need to support the bureau now more than ever. They are still facing a severe staff shortage at a time when our growing city requires an increasing need for police service. Because of the ongoing need for staffing, my office has been working closely with the Police Bureau and the Bureau of Human Resources to identify strategies for managing overtime. Chief Danielle Outlaw and her staff have already implemented some of those strategies, many of which are in alignment with the recommendations in the audit report.
We stand behind Chief Outlaw and will continue to work closely with her and PPB’s leadership to get the support the bureau needs.