Special session will address OT for Guam Police - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Special session will address OT for Guam Police

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 by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - It was first addressed over the summer and it appears lawmakers will have to make that crossroad again when it comes to prior year overtime payment to our men and women in blue.

Governor Eddie Calvo will be calling lawmakers into special session to address prior year obligations specifically overtime payments for the Guam Police Department.

According to Police Chief Fred Bordallo, the overtime costs amount to about $2 million for Fiscal Year 2014 for over 220 non-exempt and civilian officers within the department. But why so high? "As every law enforcement officer has a 40% pay hike, it's a little bit more expensive in terms of when they're held back to work overtime, their overtime rate is higher too with that pay raise, so that could be attributed to why the overtime costs is higher because you have highly paid police officers now," he said.

He adds overtime is also attributed to work with the Criminal Justice Strike Task Force and the Criminal Investigations Division, along with community events, court appearances, preparing for several storms and of course, "Putting a lot of bad guys away." The $2 million in overtime shouldn't come as much of a surprise as it was first estimated over the summer when GPD appeared before the committee of the whole discussing overtime payments for FY13 and prior."

Senator Brant McCreadie said, "So it wasn't something we didn't know would happen we knew this was going to happen we did the last (fiscal) year for the police officers and we paid them $668,000 in prior year overtime and that came from a bill from my office as well."  The call for special session actually came at the request of Senator McCreadie who not only wrote to the governor, but met with his fiscal team as well on the funding issue. "I don't know exactly where the money were identified from the governor and his fiscal team, but I do know they have identified it and the money is available but it just needs to be appropriated."

He adds when lawmakers addressed the GPD prior year overtime payment in the summer, there was no identified funds to take care of the entire $2 million. However, with just two weeks remaining until the general election, some may question the timing of the bill. "For me this is not an election year type of bill this is what we've been doing, we work hard, we make sure we keep the island safe and at the end of the day, we have to look out for the people who looks out for us as well," he said.

Governor Calvo is set to introduce a bill today addressing the overtime payments - a bill the police chief hopes lawmakers will address immediately. Chief Bordallo said, "We hope the legislature cooperates with the governor, with the same vision of ensuring every single (member) of the Guam Police Department who earned their overtime is compensation for that."
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