Yakima police saving you money by cutting back on overtime

Yakima police saving you money by cutting back on overtime
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima spends $24 million of your taxpayer money every year on police to keep you safe. One challenge is trying to keep spending under control without sacrificing safety. KIMA learned overtime hasn't gone away, but it is better.

"Obviously, we rack up overtime because we are a 24-hour operation," said Police Captain Rod Light.

Capt. Light says Yakima police often follow a schedule set by burglars, gang members and killers. Not to mention, the job's not finished when officers leave a crime scene.

"An officer may have thirty minutes left of work, but now has three hours worth of paperwork left to do," explained Light.

After pulling the numbers, we learned the overtime adds up fast. Yakima police clocked nearly a million dollars of OT in 2012. While that seems like a lot, it's actually $200,000 less than two years ago.

"I think they have to police themselves to make sure the overtime is being well spent," said Yakima man, Dave Eastlick.

Captain Light says that's what they're doing. He says both management and street supervisors work together to be more efficient. They're paying more attention to staffing and meet weekly about the budget.

It's a trend YPD hopes to continue in 2013. A balancing act of saving you money and keeping you safe.

YPD says officers aren't the only employees racking up overtime. Clerks put in a lot of hours getting cases ready for court.