In the face of understaffing and rising public demand for police presence and response, overtime budgets for law enforcement agencies throughout the country are exploding. There is no doubt that many officers have seen the increase in overtime as an opportunity to substantially increase their take-home pay and, in some cases, increase their pension benefits well into the future.
However, the legal liabilities and practical challenges associated with massive overtime budgets—particularly when these involve mandatory overtime—cannot be overlooked. Officer fatigue, decreased morale, mental health challenges among officers, resignations and opportunities for overtime fraud are all risks that are always present in times like these.
Law enforcement leaders and elected officials should take these risks and inherent trade-offs into consideration when attempting to manage the legitimate public safety demands of the community. Difficult personnel management decisions must be made in light of the fact that their officers are human beings who require rest and time away from the job in order to perform their duties safely.
In this two-hour webinar, Attorney Matt Dolan will address issues including:
- Assessing deployable personnel numbers and communicating honestly with the public
- Practical policies that allow agency leaders to manage overtime work effectively
- Mandatory versus voluntary overtime policies
- Addressing officer fatigue