Over a three-month span, the East Haven police department signed off on 777 overtime shifts at a cost of more than $280,000, according to a report in the New Haven Register.
The union president told NBC Connecticut that the police officers are working 16-hour days and they would prefer more police officers to the overtime pay.
"Officers are enduring double shifts almost every day, and they're getting ordered in all the time, every week," Union President Bob Nappe said. "This hacks into their personal lives. They can't conduct themselves in a way that they should. They're tired."
Mayor Joseph Maturo issued a news release on Monday, saying that is not what the union said when he recently met with them.
Maturo said his administration has been monitoring the amount of police overtime that the town has had to pay over the last two years, both for financial ramifications on taxpayer and for the number of hours officers are working.
“This was discussed recently at a general meeting of Local 1662 of the Police Union which I attended. While Union President Nappe seems to be expressing that his members are overworked and desiring of less hours, it was not the sentiment that he expressed to me during that discussion,” Maturo said in a statement.
The mayor said he offered to consider hiring three or four “floating officers” to work available overtime shifts and added he’s been working on civilian dispatching, which would release more officers for street duty and cut down on overtime.
“Both of these were not acceptable to Union President Nappe since these would affect the overtime wages for his union. To minimize the amount of overtime for our officers without reducing their wages is impossible,” Maturo said.
Since 2011, five officers have been arrested, there have been eight retirements, one disability and five resignations, Maturo said.
“I am still proud of the men and women of our department who are protecting our citizens doing a fine job despite all of the problems within their department. I believe in the present direction of our department and applaud all our officers working tirelessly to make this the best police department in the state,” Maturo said.