Police overtime to handle unrest adds up big

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Police departments across central Illinois are paying big for overtime. A lot of that is because of the looting and protests earlier this month. It’s different for every department, and it’s important to remember that there are a lot of factors that go into these hours and an increase could be tied to a lot of different events.

In Champaign, officers clocked in 1,947 hours of overtime from May 31 to June 8. That adds up to $114,587. Department spokesperson Tom Yelich says that’s a lot compared to their normal overtime. For some perspective, they paid for 380 hours of overtime the two weeks before that, May 11 to May 24. That added up to around $22,000.

Champaign police rearranged their shifts to accommodate for longer hours during that week. Instead of their normal 10 hour-shifts, they switched to 12-hour shifts. Department leaders say that allowed for more coverage. There are still protests happening on the weekends in our area. Champaign police say they are trying to work with organizers, then they respond by staffing as many officers as they feel are necessary.

Urbana officers also worked longer hours. Between May 31 and June 8, they clocked in $18,320.49 in overtime pay. Police say some of them worked shifts as long as 16 hours, but most were around 12. While they say that overtime total is hard to compare to another, more “normal” week, Urbana Administrative Assistant Cassandra Heldman says there were 315.5 overtime hours worked in just four of those days (May 31, June 1, June 6, and June 8).

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