Two Onondaga, N.Y., sheriff’s deputies worked shifts up to 16 hours a day at a training academy, says the Syracuse Post-Standard. One of them, Michael Asmolik, 53, worked long shifts for 32 consecutive days, more than doubling his base pay via overtime to $134,852 in the fiscal year, giving him more income than his boss, Sheriff Kevin Walsh. Walsh had to ask county officials for an extra $1.1 million to pay for overruns in his overtime budget. When legislators gave it to him with a warning to get costs under control, Walsh stopped the overtime spree.
It is common for law enforcement agencies to run up overtime, but not for training, said Lise Bang-Jensen of the Empire Center for New York State Policy. “Usually overtime is given because of some unpredictable event – an accident, some weather problem,” she said. “This is a case where they can schedule people. They know that two officers are going to be teaching at the academy on certain dates and they know that probably months in advance.” Working 15 or 16 hours a day 32 days straight would likely affect anyone's quality of work, she said. “Unless these officers are supermen, you can't be as effective a police officer when you're tired,” she said.