The city of Chicago spent more than $100 million on police overtime in 2013, including 107 officers who each collected more than $50,000 in overtime, according to a published report Friday.
The $103 million on police overtime was about half of the $197 million Mayor Rahm Emanuel paid for all city workers' overtime last year, according to a Friday story in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy have touted lower crime statistics, saying they've changed police tactics to combat crime. That includes putting more police presence in the city's most violent areas. Chicago reported 415 homicides in 2013 compared with 503 the year before. Similar drops were reported in other categories of crime.
McCarthy has said it's less expensive for the city to pay overtime than hire more officers with full benefits. However, some aldermen and the police union have said the overtime spending is out of control and worry about officer fatigue.
"The policy needs to change. Any management consultant can tell you that, to depend on overtime of this magnitude is unhealthy," Alderman Ricardo Munoz said. "You've got the issue of burnout, stress and long hours. We need to make sure our police department is well-staffed and well-rested."
The newspaper reported 1,186 officers got more than $25,000 and 3,790 officers earned more than $10,000 in overtime. In one instance, a sergeant collected $95,010 extra, almost doubling an annual salary of $105,864.
Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said the violence reduction efforts are a "Band-Aid approach to crime-fighting" and that high overtime is "gross mismanagement."
"It's not safe to work those kinds of hours. It's not good for public safety," Camden said.
Chicago police spokesman Adam Collins said some of the top overtime earners are investigators who get overtime as part of their routine duties, like surveillance or participating in court proceedings.
Emanuel and McCarthy have said they want to hire more officers to keep up with attrition.