Many of their duties overlap with Boston police, and critics have called for the force’s elimination. But not only have the Boston Municipal Police survived; their officers are thriving on overtime pay, while the city grapples with its worst fiscal crisis in a decade, the Boston Globe reports.
Nearly all the 140 “munis” — who are responsible for guarding city parks and buildings from City Hall to public housing developments — received at least $20,000 more than their base pay last year, even as the city laid off workers and cut popular programs to close a budget shortfall. About a dozen earned double their regular salaries, which hover around $40,000.
Paul Hamilton, who heads the Municipal Police Patrolmen’s Association, said the munis earned their $2.6 million in extra pay, but he said the substantial sums the city is paying out suggest it might be time to reorganize the force, perhaps merging it into the Boston Police Department or Boston Housing Authority force.
Unlike Boston police officers, whose salaries are inflated with controversial supplements such as paid details and educational incentives, the extra pay of the municipal police is mostly overtime. The munis didn’t make as much extra money as Boston police patrolmen, who netted an average of $36,752 in additional dollars.
When it was established in 1979 to provide security at city buildings, the Municipal Police Department consisted of a handful of unarmed officers. But the force’s responsibilities have expanded: Nabbing shoplifters at Fanueil Hall and arresting drug peddlers in city parks. They answer calls at public schools, libraries, and community centers, and since 1994 they have helped provide security at Boston Housing Authority developments. The force’s 64 patrol officers carry guns, and they are trained at police academies.