Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis has extended an overtime crackdown to include detectives investigating some of the city’s most serious crimes, a move that union officials say could hinder their ability to solve cases and hurt morale, the Boston Globe reports. The cuts will not apply to detectives responding to emergencies such as shootings or stabbings. Work like conducting follow-up interviews with witnesses or obtaining search warrants, which detectives have often used overtime to complete, must be done during a regular shift.
“I understand that there are budget problems,” said Detective Miller Thomas, president of the Police Detectives Benevolent Society. “But if the investigation was legitimate yesterday, how can the same investigation not be legitimate today? The investigation didn’t change. The crime didn’t change. What changed was the policy of the department.” The cuts are part of a series of expense reductions that has the rank and file on edge, according to union officials. This month, Davis began reducing extra shifts as he tried to contend simultaneously with budget cuts and an overtime account that was on track to be millions in the red by year’s end. Since then, many supervisors have complained that garbage is piling up in district stations and jail cells because the department has stopped paying custodians overtime to replace others who are out sick or on a day off.