Audit Says Boston Police Should Improve Diversity, Reduce Overtime


A sweeping audit of the Boston Police Department concluded it needs to rein in runaway overtime spending, turn over the job of assigning details to a civilian and improve diversity after seeing declines in its nonwhite ranks, the Boston Herald reports. The report from the Public Safety Strategies Group noted a recent uptick in the number of white officers after steady declines since 1981, when 88 percent of sworn personnel were white. After hitting a low of 64 percent in 2007, the percentage of whites rose to 65 and 66 percent in the following years. The department, the audit notes, was forced to diversify based on a settlement agreement in effect from 1973 to 2004.

The report calls out “what appears to be a practice of generating unnecessary overtime that meets the hours allocated rather than requiring justification of need for the overtime prior to scheduling,” and includes a chart of 10 unnamed officers who logged between 1,000 and 2,000 hours of overtime each year since 2010. “One can see that there are some members of the department that are nearly working the equivalent of a second full-time job,” the audit reads. “This raises concerns about officer safety.” The department has a 90-hour weekly cap on how much officers can work. The report recommends reducing that even further. The department spent ?$46 million on overtime in fiscal 2013 and a whopping $56 million in fiscal 2014.

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