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LAPD Officers Absent For 700 Transit Shifts After Cops Are Told They Won’t Be Paid For Overtime

Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers scheduled to work overtime shifts for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) called in absent nearly 700 times last week.

The LAPD is contracted to fill 1,008 MTA shifts per week as part of a five-year, $369 million agreement, LAPD spokesperson Josh Rubenstein told the Los Angeles Times.

LAPD officers who agreed to work the MTA shifts historically received premium overtime pay for their service, but that all changed on June 11, when LAPD Chief Michael Moore announced that the department had blown through $40 million in overtime as a result of the riots that erupted in the wake of the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Everyone in the nearly 10,000-member LAPD worked grueling 12-hour consecutive shifts with no days off beginning on May 30 in order to protect the community from the rioters.

As a result of the decimated overtime budget, officers were told after they worked overtime that they wouldn’t get any overtime money for their work.

Officers who earned overtime from June 7 onward will be paid in compensation time instead of overtime, Chief Moore wrote in the June 11 memorandum to his department, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The move essentially retroactively defunded overtime the officers had already earned since June 7.

“I recognize that you have worked tirelessly these past couple of weeks during the protests and prior to that during the Safer At Home order,” the chief wrote. “Your dedication and commitment have not gone unnoticed.”

“During this extraordinary time, including the full mobilization of our sworn members, the Department has expended more than $40 million dollars in overtime expenses,” he explained. “This amount far exceeds any budgetary reserve to address unusual occurrences.”

Chief Moore confirmed that “all non-essential overtime is cancelled,” to include cannabis and human trafficking task force work, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The chief’s announcement came on the heels of a massive spike in homicides throughout the city, FOX News reported at the time.

Between May 31 and June 6, the murder rate in Los Angeles jumped up 250 percent, according to the LAPD.

The number of victims who had been shot increased 56 percent from the week prior.

As crime soared, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled his plan to defund LAPD by slashing $150 million from the LAPD budget to be funneled into other programs, FOX News reported.

Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) spokesperson Dustin DeRollo said that Chief Moore’s announcement was another frustrating blow for the exhausted officers.

“It was a huge shock,” DeRollo told the Los Angeles Times.

One LAPD officer told Breitbart that his fellow officers “are beyond pissed” about the overtime change.

“Many are actively looking to quit and go to another department,” the officer said. “Some in, and some out of state.”

Officers called in absent for a total of 696 MTA shifts between June 12 and June 19, according to MTA spokesperson Rick Jager.

The MTA was able to fill all but 171 of those shifts with substitute officers, Jager told the Los Angeles Times.

Rubenstein said that officers do not have to provide a reason for canceling their MTA shifts.

They could have backed out of their scheduled overtime details for “a hundred different reasons,” Rubenstein told the Los Angeles Times.

According to Rubenstein, LAPD officers will have the option of converting their MTA-related overtime into cash after the MTA pays the department, but that process could take months.

“Based on past history, you’ll get paid up to six months later,” DeRollo told the Los Angeles Times. “Frankly, there’s a trust issue right now with how officers feel because of how quickly the about-face happened.”

Although there are not currently any potential penalties in place if LAPD fails to meet the MTA staffing requirements, that all could change if the absences continue, according to Rubenstein.

Critics have long been demanding that the MTA cut back on its contract with police in order to dump funds into free fares, better service and to hire workers to help the homeless, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin

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