Some of the significant highlights of the First Quarter, 2014 overtime performance are:
Excluding Snow, Superstorm Sandy and other emergency events, civilian overtime totaled 22,000 hours, or 12%, over plan. This overrun was primarily due to higher than planned patron services for the National Football League (NFL) Super Bowl multi-day event and PATH’s enhanced train service for the Pulaski Skyway closure originally scheduled for February when staffing and schedules were set. These operational requirements for both the Super Bowl and Pulaski closure were not finalized at the time the budget was set in early January 2014. All other areas are on target and expected to adhere to budgeted levels throughout 2014. Excluding the overrun of 17,000 overtime hours associated with enhanced patron service for the Super Bowl, civilian overtime is 4,600 hours, or 2.6%, over plan. Additional factors contributing to this overrun are catch-up of delayed construction and maintenance due to winter weather and higher than planned absences.
Police overtime is 38,000 hours, or 14%, over plan. The overrun is primarily due to higher than planned Super Bowl support, unanticipated special crime incident drills and the lengthening of the recruit training week to include Saturdays in order to accelerate the graduation of the 112th Class to support staffing requirements. It should be noted that the costs of overtime incurred for police coverage during the Super Bowl and all special crime incident drills are fully recovered through grants.
As previously reported, an Overtime Steering Committee was established at the beginning of 2014 to drive agency focus on the new Overtime Management Program framework of “Mitigation, Monitor & Control.” The Steering Committee has been effective in identifying root causes that drive overtime as well as in developing new mitigation strategies and assessing issues preventing the achievement of overtime goals.
Civilian mitigation strategies underway include Integrated Absence Management to ensure timely return to work from absence related to sick and injured-on-duty (IOD) occurrences and Performance Management to reinforce the agency’s expectation that each manager has a responsibility in monitoring and controlling overtime hours.
Police mitigation strategies include continuation of regular management meetings instituted by the Chief Security Officer to focus on root causes; Managing to a total workload by balancing overruns in overtime hours with under runs in straight-time hours; Training and staffing of more officers with specialized skills required for certain detail posts to ensure a full complement of qualified staff is available for deployment, thereby avoiding overtime usage; Systems and processes through a scheduling and post management system to restrict the creation of new posts without authorization; and, Filling staff deficiencies with the 113th class of 260 recruits anticipated to graduate in mid-August which will limit the need to cover vacant posts on overtime.
In the first quarter of 2014, the agency has continued to concentrate on the framework of “Mitigation, Monitor & Control” regarding overtime and will continue inculcating it into the agency’s operations.