Hundreds of Boston police officers have been collecting pay for private detail shifts in two places at once, says the Boston Globe. The Boston Police Department paid officers for working details in separate locations at the same time 724 times in the 2 years ending July 31, payroll records show. The Globe found 396 officers out of 2,035 departmentwide paid for the overlapping shifts. The benefits were spread across ranks, from patrolmen to captains. Many benefited repeatedly, with 150 officers collecting detail pay for overlapping shifts on at least two occasions. One collected double pay 23 times.
Officers and administrators offer several explanations, from mistakes filling out time cards to data-entry errors by clerks. Police Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole acknowledged that the many cases of double payment could be evidence of widespread manipulation of the system for extra pay. Confronted with the Globe’s analysis, O’Toole said that she was shocked to learn the extent of the problem and said that she would immediately begin a comprehensive review of department records to identify cheaters. She told a committee to examine payroll records and investigate officers and asked City Hall auditors to adjust the computerized payroll system to flag overlapping shifts. She will hire the auditing firm Ernst & Young to recommend reforms to the department’s management of the detail system.