Police Overtime and a Top 10 List

Just as an FYI--I was not compensated for offering my opinion on the following policing top 10 list. 

In contrast, one of Dr. Moskos' insights fits well with an observation I wanted to make on a current criminal justice event.

Recently, I read an insightful article by Peter Moskos, a former Baltimore police officer and current professor at John Jay College.

Dr. Moskos discussed the Top 10 Things Police Officers Learn on the Job.

Here is one of the points:

To cops, overtime is like a drug. It's something you'll crave, and something that influences far too much of what you do on and off duty.

Police officers can make great money through overtime. They can also rake in the cash moonlighting.

As such, good law enforcement managers limit the type and amount of overtime and "extra-jobs" that officers are permitted to work.

On my NFL blog, I discussed a recent story about an officer working an extra-job at a bar who arrested Minnesota Vikings football player Adrian Peterson.

Not sure how the case against Peterson will pan out, but the arresting officer and the agency are getting plenty of negative publicity.

Advice for new officers working extra-jobs?

Be smart.

Be selective.

Avoid becoming dependent on the income from working overtime--it can certainly have a negative impact on one's personal and family life.

If the agency does not ban working off-duty at bars, steer clear of those high-paying yet high-risk opportunities like the plague.

They are always more trouble than they are worth.


You can read Dr. Moskos' full top ten list by going here, or by going to the host site CriminalJusticePrograms.com.


Miss Caitlin S. said...

very interesting. I can certainly understand the appeal of wanting to work nights or overtime if it rolls in the cash. They pay very well for that kind of time in my line of business... which is why they are very selective as to when it can be utilized.

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Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

It's easy to become a workaholic, especially if you believe in the importance of your job. Many professions don't even compensate for overtime, yet employees still take on the extra work: teachers, social workers, anyone on salary, for example. And if you're someone like me who not only believes in the mission but has a strong work ethic, it's even more difficult to achieve balance. Thanks for reminder that burning out will make you ineffective all around. Put the oxygen mask on yourself, first, then help the person beside you.

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah more money is always appealing, but if it seems to good to be true, there usually is something fishy about it.

Elisa Hirsch said...

Such good points ;) I wish my husband would read this. He's only had two days off in the last month.

messymimi said...

Yes, i can see how, in an ever more costly world, it can be enticing to take as much overtime as possible. My dad was a doctor, not an officer, but he was on call a lot and spent precious little time at home, and i imagine it's a similar effect on families of officers. Everyone misses daddy or mommy.

Carol Kilgore said...

That was a great link. My WIP is about a police detective, so it's handy too!

Ciara said...

We hire off duty police officers for our neighborhood. It has been a little crazy. Grown adults will send out messages complaining about being stopped int he subdivision, and how it is embarrassing. I'm like, well, then don't run stop signs at bus stops where small children are! Oh, sorry, off my soap box now. :) I've SO missed your posts. You returned when I left on vacation. I hope you are doing well.

Maxi said...

…high paying yet high risk. Hmm, seems like a no-brainer.
Blessings - Maxi

Audrey Allure said...

Interesting! It makes sense though, the higher the risk, the more money can be offered.

Matthew MacNish said...

Interesting. I work a lot of overtime and holiday shifts, and the rate is usually only 1.5 or double time. Do police officers get more than that?

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

For a while I worked 2 jobs because I did my full time juvenile probation job and then taught psych classes at night. It really didn't bother me though, because it was only 2 nights a week and the 2 jobs were so different from each other than it didn't lead to burnout in either. I could see how doing the same thing at 2 jobs would be hard though.

Bob G. said...

As someone who always worked ONE job at a time (Dad called it living within one's means) AND has worked his share of O/T (both paid and unpaid (via a salaried postion), it CAN become intoxicating from an hourly standpoint, and once you grow accustomed to getting it, you live ABOVE what you should, so when it goes away (as most O/T will do), you go through a "withdrawal" until you RE-learn to get by on the regular pay...the way it's intended.

Lesson learned well in that regard.

Good article links and post.

Stay safe out there.

Jax said...

I had no idea about any of that! I assume every enjoys the time and a half of working OT, but I had no clue that cops relied on it so much. Great advice!!!

Shauna Nosler said...

Intersting ... A good friend is a state cop here and makes a lot of "extra" cash taking jobs at our big concernt venue and at NFL events etc. Anyhoo, I've been on Mars for two months but I am back now - hope your summer is going fabulously! CANNOT read your baby snatcher post though ... too close to home.

Secret Agent Woman said...

Sometimes I wish my job had overtime pay!