Eight Chicago police officers were among City Hall's top 20 overtime earners in 2013 — supplementing their annual salaries by more than $78,990 — renewing debate about police hiring and officer burnout, says the Chicago Sun-Times. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he expected to spend $93 million on overtime in 2013 after flooding 20 of Chicago's most violent crime zones with officers working overtime. The actual total was $103 million, nearly half the $197 million Mayor Rahm Emanuel spent on overtime for the entire city workforce.
Aldermen condemned police overtime as “out of control,” fretted about officers working around the clock for “blood money” and pressed for the hiring of up to 1,000 police officers, only to have their demands squelched by the mayor's City Council allies. Now, the city's annual overtime report shows the extent to which Emanuel has relied on overtime as a cost-saving management strategy and how big a strain that has placed on individual police officers. Alexandra Holt, the city's budget director said: “The city monitors overtime on a regular basis to assure that it is used in an appropriate and fiscally responsible manner. Overtime can be a cost effective management tool that allows the City to maintain services most efficiently.” She added that $39 million of CPD overtime buys 200 officers on the street while the same dollar amount only buys 150 full-time officers.