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Police guard outside the LAPD headquarters during a protest of the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis, in downtown Los Angeles, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

 

As we reported Saturday, LAPD officers who’d worked hundreds of hours of overtime attempting to keep people and property safe during the recent protests and riots and looting sprees were informed after the fact that since the $40 million overtime bill was more than the LAPD had left in their budget they’d be receiving comp time instead of cash.

That has not gone over well.

In addition to grueling hours on riot duty, in the last two weeks LAPD officers were smeared by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who referred to them as “killers” and pledged to take $150 million from their budget and use it to “fight systemic racism” instead.

For some, being stiffed on overtime was the last straw.  Morale is at “rock bottom,” Fox LA’s Bill Melugin reports, and in one division (which provides security for the city’s Metro bus/subway system), 43 officers canceled their shifts Monday.

According to LAPD sources who spoke with RedState, morale is indeed at rock bottom. Satirical police reports and “wanted” posters featuring Chief Michel Moore are making the rounds among rank-and-file officers, like this one provided to RedState reporting “theft by trickery” by the Chief.

LAPD Morale at "Rock Bottom" After Officers Stiffed on Overtime; Some "Cancelling" Their Shifts

LA Police Protective League Vice President Sgt. Jeretta Sandoz told Fox LA:

“The officers have lost trust. They were told cancel days off, cancel vacations, and we will pay you cash overtime. Then a memo comes out that they have no more cash.

“The officers are not happy right now. Aside from taking bottles, bricks – I don’t know what else they can handle. And now to be told there’s no cash, they’re at their wit’s end.”

She continued:

They’re not robots; they’re human beings. And to have city leaders turn their back on them in the midst of a pandemic as well as riots and protests, angry mobs that were attacking them on the front lines when they’re trying to protect life and property, it’s hard for them right now.”

Sandoz explained that since comp time can be redeemed for cash at retirement and is paid out at the officer’s pay rate at the time it’s redeemed, not the rate when it’s earned, it could end up costing the city much more than $40 million.

Later Monday, an LAPD spokesman replied to Melugin’s request for a comment.

It reads:

“The Los Angeles Police Department offers cash overtime to officers when it is available, and when those allotted amounts are depleted that compensation is offered in time. The COVID-19 pandemic and full mobilization of the department depleted that cash reserve before the end of the fiscal year and we transitioned to comp time last week. Regarding MTA details, consistent with our notice officers will be compensated in time, and when the MTA reimburses the Department the officers’ time compensation will be converted to cash.”

According to Moore’s initial notice, officers assigned to MTA security (the agency contracted with LAPD to provide officers rather than creating its own security force) will receive the cash for overtime, but only after MTA has paid LAPD. The notice informed officers that procedures for that conversion would be communicated to them in the coming weeks. In the meantime, LAPD must show that the officers have been compensated for time worked in some way.

In addition, an LAPD spokesman told Fox LA that “the overtime decision is necessary to get the budget back in check, and that officers will eventually be paid further down the road.”

A new fiscal year starts July 1, but since the City Council’s budget committee has recommended nixing a planned 7 percent increase in the LAPD’s budget and instead reducing the 2021 budget by $150 million, it’s unclear how that bill can possibly be paid.

Jennifer Van Laar
Jennifer Van Laar is Deputy Managing Editor at RedState and founded Save California PAC. Follow her work on Facebook and Twitter. Story tips: [email protected]

 
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