City council scrutinizes Metropolitan Police Department’s overtime expenses

Washington-DC

City council passed a police accountability bill in response to Mayor Bowser's transfer of money to cover MPD's overtime costs.

WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The Metropolitan Police Department will have to notify city council when it reaches 5 percent more than its approved overtime pay budget. The change is part of a police accountability bill the council passed on Tuesday.

Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau got to work on the bill after Mayor Muriel Bowser transferred $43 million of funding from the Department of Healthcare Finance, the Child and Family Services Agency, and the Workforce Investment Fund, to MPD officers who worked overtime during the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests. 

During Tuesday’s meeting, Nadeu said she and eight colleagues penned a letter to city administrators “expressing concern of taking money from critical services that were already lacking funding,” and that it “didn’t notify council when it became aware that MPD was blowing through its overtime budget.” Nadeu hopes it will increase police spending transparency. 

At-Large Councilmember Robert White hopes it will stop over-policing in communities of color. “There just is a disparity in the way communities of color are being policed during protests versus white protesters,” he said. “It’s hurtful, it’s disheartening; it’s something all of us have to be committed to improving. We don’t have to pretend it doesn’t exist, we just have to fix the problem. This is a tool I think will help us fix the problem.” 

If the MPD reaches 5 percent more than its approved overtime pay budget for that fiscal year, it will have to provide overtime pay spending reports for each subsequent month for the rest of that fiscal year. 

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