Cincinnati police officers earned more than $6.6 million last year in off-duty, extra work, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. They worked before or after their regular shifts and on weekends at places like grocery stores, bars, churches, and sporting events, according to a list generated in response to an Enquirer public-records request. They worked almost 212,000 hours for pay starting at $31 an hour. More than 250 of them earned at least $10,000; one earned $52,056.
Working “details” is legal, overseen by the department and commonly done across the nation. The city is starting a policy, scheduled to start today, that will require officers to pay the city $4.90 for every hour they work off duty. The surcharge is expected to generate an estimated $750,000 a year, the city says. The executive director of the national Fraternal Order of Police has called it extortion. The idea of taxing officers for something they do voluntarily in their off time comes as tension is already high between police officers and City Hall in the wake of a Senate bill that takes away some union bargaining power. It has prompted a debate over whether charging officers is fair when other city employees don’t pay for work they do on their off days.