Chicago Police Overtime May Hit Record $200M

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The Chicago Police Department is on pace to spend nearly $200 million on overtime in 2017 — 40 percent more than last year’s record — despite a two-year hiring surge intended to allow for attrition and bolster the force by 970 officers, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The Sun-Times reported in July that officers racked up $30.9 million in overtime during January, February and March alone — cold-weather months when crime typically is lower. That was 26.6 percent more than the $24.4 million spent on overtime during the same period last year, when City Hall set a record by spending $143 million on police overtime.

Records released Monday in response to a Freedom of Information Request show the pace of overtime spending has quickened considerably. Through July 31, the police department had spent $95 million on overtime, including $30 million for July alone — nearly 39 percent more than July overtime spending last year. Since billing for police overtime routinely runs from a month to six weeks behind, overtime billing for July, typically the heaviest month of the year because of major events, will not be reflected until August. It also means the Chicago Police Department is on pace to spend $200 million on overtime in 2017. The police budget includes $75 million for overtime for the entire year. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department “strategically increases overtime” in summer “to correspond with” the traditional warm-weather crime surge.

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