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Several police corrections officers’ salaries surged after factoring in benefits, overtime pay

Updated March 20, 2017 - 7:47 pm

Several Metropolitan Police Department corrections officers more than tripled their base salaries last year after factoring in benefits and overtime pay, new data show.

Seven corrections officers raked in more than $100,000 in overtime pay, according to data from Transparent Nevada, a website compiling public employee salary information. Two officers pulled in more than $145,000, with one officer’s total compensation exceeding $300,000.

For comparison, Sheriff Joe Lombardo’s base salary in 2015 checked in at just under $160,000, according to Transparent Nevada. He did not earn any overtime pay that year.

Last week, the police department requested about $3.6 million from the county to add 36 new detention center positions.

In the current fiscal year, the detention services division has spent $800,000 to $1 million in overtime per pay period, according to a budget presentation.

County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak called the concentration of such excessive overtime to just a few corrections officers problematic because the long hours can be draining. Sisolak said he hopes adding the new positions will alleviate the excessive overtime.

The department could not just use that overtime pay for base salaries of new positions because all new positions must go through the budgeting process, Sisolak said.

Deputy Chief Rich Suey, who oversees Metro’s detention services division, said paying overtime actually saves money after factoring what would be spent on training, vacation and sick time. He said he expects to get approval for 18 of the 36 positions he requested.

Suey said all of the high overtime earners volunteered to work.

“When people volunteer, you don’t get the burnout or stress,” he said.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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