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Overtime Caps Hamper LAPD Homicide Investigations

April 12, 2010  | 

Budgetary conditions that led to the LAPD refusing to pay officers overtime wages except in rare circumstances is striking at the core of the department's homicide unit, as detectives are being benched while cases remain unsolved, the Los Angeles Times reports.

An excerpt from the report explains how it works:

Before the city's fiscal crisis, an agreement between the department and police union called for officers to build up a bank of about 100 hours of overtime and then be paid cash for hours worked beyond that. Late last year, the department renegotiated the agreement and now officers are not paid until they have accrued 400 hours of extra work. To make sure no officer reaches that trigger point, the department's new policy forbids them from banking more than 250 hours.

As a result of the pay limit, the number of open cases has risen in several bureaus including Southeast and detectives are being pulled off cold-case investigations.

Chief Charlie Beck eliminated overtime pay in February, as the department implemented budget cuts by moving officers on specialized units to patrol duties.

Read the full report.

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