Some Portland cops earn over $200G, largely driven by overtime amid protests

USA

At least 15 Portland police employees made more than $200,000 last fiscal year, largely due to overtime pay, according to a report on Sunday.

The fiscal year – from July 1, 2019, to the end of June 2020 — didn’t include overtime made by police during the past four months of daily protests and riots in the city, according to a wage database obtained by The Oregonian through a records request. 

This June, however, there were more than four million in overtime pay, which was the single highest month recorded in recent memory. Portland also saw protests during the summer of 2019, which was another factor in the overtime pay, as well as an increase in shootings and lack of officers.

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Police use chemical irritants and crowd control munitions to disperse protesters during the 100th consecutive day of demonstrations in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. According to an officer, police responded with stronger tactics after a molotov cocktail was thrown.(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Police use chemical irritants and crowd control munitions to disperse protesters during the 100th consecutive day of demonstrations in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. According to an officer, police responded with stronger tactics after a molotov cocktail was thrown.(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

“There’s a lot of people working a lot of hours because there’s just a lot of work to be done, and we’re limited on the number of cops we have,” said Sgt. Ken Duilio, who was the third highest-paid officer.

The attention toward police spending, as well as the call to fund or dismantle departments, grew this summer in wake of the death of George Floyd in law enforcement custody. Some groups argue that reallocating federal funding from police departments toward other local services could make communities safer, especially for minorities.

The figures show 728 bureau employees made more than $100,000 out of 1,272 people.

Outside of Capt. Mark Kruger, who retired in March and made $265,225 last fiscal year, the second, third and fourth highest-paid employees were all sergeants whose overtime earnings exceeded their base pay, the paper reported.

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Eight sergeants and two officers were in the top of 10 highest overtime earners, according to The Oregonian. Sergeants earned an average of $24,943 in overtime, followed by detectives, who averaged $20,369. Rank-and-file officers averaged $13,239 in overtime.

“The city’s elected officials have continued to ignore our staffing needs, resulting in the large amounts of overtime,” said Officer Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association. “That’s the cost of keeping our city safe.”

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Gross pay and overtime earnings for Portland police are expected to be higher than last year, according to the paper. 

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