Portland, Or. – A new audit of Portland Police Bureau overtime shows room for improvement. It suggests the bureau better manage and track overtime. Last year the bureau spent $15.7 million dollars on overtime for 250,000 extra staff hours, a slight dip from the year before. It says one officer worked 97 hours in a week.
The report suggests a limit on the number of overtime hours an officer can work. Auditor Mary Hull Caballero says ” whether a City bureau is staffed appropriately or not, overtime use must be well managed. Exhausted and overworked officers pay a price in terms of their own well-being, and the community shoulders the cost in the quality of police services they receive.”
Police Chief Danielle Outlaw has responded to the audit in a letter. It says “As I am sure you and your team are aware, the use of overtime has been a significant issue for the Bureau as our staffing levels have continued to decrease relative to demand for police service in a growing, major city. Prior to your audit, we worked closely with the Mayor’s Office and the Bureau of Human Resources to examine our overtime management, and we are working on the strategies identified in that work. As stewards of public funds, the Portland Police Bureau is committed to ensuring the efficient use of our scarce public safety resources. “