Counterpoint: Police get OT because it’s a big job

SHARE Counterpoint: Police get OT because it’s a big job

After reading the July 8 article titled “City’s $100K OT Club” and then being asked to contribute a response, it became clear why comments from us should be shared. The Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge #7 supports hiring more police officers.

A question was asked if overtime might decrease if more officers were hired. Quite simply, we believe so. However, we welcome the opportunity to conduct a comparative analysis measuring our present rank-and-file to one with an additional 1,000 or more officers.


The July 8 article directly correlated police overtime to the VRI Program (Violence Reduction Initiative). On any given day, 200 to 300 officers participate in this initiative. They work extra assignments on their off days. They voluntarily risk personal safety and sacrifice family time to be part of a pro-active contingent, which supplies a positive and visible presence in the most violent areas of our city.

Should these officers get compensated at increased levels? Without a doubt they should.

Also mentioned in the article were detectives earning high amounts of overtime. Most of society is unfamiliar with a detective’s workday. Unlike on television, “real” investigations are not concluded within five commercial breaks. A proper investigation begins once the incident is assigned and ends months later at trial. What occurs between these endpoints involves endless interviews, mountains of paperwork and weeks in the courthouse. The amount of reporting that commonly occurs in an investigation mirrors the volume level of a thesis. As time passes, detectives continue to be assigned additional investigations, which get added to their already full dockets. As cases mature and trials run concurrent, detectives spend more time in court than they spend with their family.

Should these detectives get compensated at increased levels? Without a doubt they should.

Issues related to police overtime are nothing new: It existed in the 1980s when the Chicago Police Department was 13,500 strong. Extensions of tours, working days off, investigative expertise all deserve appropriate compensation.

Once again to the question: Would overtime decrease with more officers? We still say yes, while we anxiously await the opportunity to compare our present population with one containing 1,000 more.

Dean C. Angelo, Sr. is president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge #7

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