Los Angeles, CA. — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the police union have tentatively agreed to a deal that would guarantee $245 million in overtime pay for police officers. According to KTLA, the deal is being struck to get the union to postpone two pay raises, Garcetti has offered officers at the Los Angeles Police Department a minimum of $70 million in overtime pay in each of the next three budget years.
As part of the proposed deal, officers would be permitted in the final year of the contract to cash out as much as $35 million in overtime pay for hours they’ve already worked but have not been compensated.
The deal stems from a budgeting practice called overtime banking, which the LAPD uses to pay for personnel costs when the money isn’t immediately available.
Some agencies offer “comp time” in exchange for paid overtime and upon retirement, which allows officers to cash out (unused) compensatory time. However, these and other budgeting tricks and financial manuevers indicate a bigger problem: cities like Los Angeles are apparently not properly planning, funding, and managing police pay in ways that benefit officers or the communities they serve.