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Police double dip on details
Hundreds get overlapping shifts

By Donovan Slack, Globe Staff | September 8, 2004

Hundreds of Boston police officers have been double dipping -- collecting pay for private detail shifts in two places at once, a Globe investigation has found.

The Boston Police Department paid officers for working details in separate locations at the same time on 724 occasions during the 2 years ending July 31, payroll records show. The Globe's analysis found 396 officers out of 2,035 departmentwide were paid for the overlapping shifts.

The benefits were spread across ranks, from patrolmen up to captains, including a commander of the department's Paid Detail Assignment Unit. And many benefited repeatedly, with 150 officers collecting detail pay for overlapping shifts on at least two occasions, according to the Globe's analysis. One collected double pay 23 times.

Officers and police administrators offer a variety of explanations, from mistakes by officers filling out their time cards to data-entry errors by clerks completing payroll orders. But Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O'Toole acknowledged that the large number of instances of double payment could be evidence of widespread manipulation of the system for extra pay.

Confronted with the Globe's analysis, O'Toole said that she was shocked to learn the extent of the problem and said that she would immediately begin a comprehensive review of department records to identify cheaters. She has instructed an internal committee to examine payroll records and investigate officers, and asked City Hall auditors to help reconfigure the computerized payroll system to flag overlapping shifts. She planned to hire the national auditing firm, Ernst & Young, to recommend reforms to the department's management of the detail system.

''We will aggressively discipline anybody who is found to have violated the laws and regulations of this department," O'Toole said. ''There's nothing more important than integrity."

Officers who cheated in order to get paid for more than one shift could be prosecuted for larceny, prosecutors said. Convictions could carry prison sentences of up to five years.

Since being contacted by the Globe last month, the department's Internal Affairs Division launched investigations of seven officers who turned in time cards indicating they simultaneously worked details at separate locations, said the division's commander, Superintendent Al Goslin.

Among them is Detective George P. Foley, who is being investigated for collecting pay for simultaneous shifts March 15, 2003. According to payroll records, he was paid to be at the Bayside Exposition Center from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and for a Big Dig detail from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. His pay for the day: $656.

Sergeant Martin B. Kraft, who was paid on six occasions for overlapping detail shifts, according to the Globe's analysis, is being investigated for shifts on April 4, 2003. He was paid for a Big Dig detail from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on that day while also getting paid for a 5 p.m.-11:45 p.m. shift at a Stop & Shop supermarket on Cambridge Street. Kraft's pay was $356.

Patrolman Bruce E. Smith, who the Globe found was double-paid in seven instances, is being investigated for shifts on June 3, 2003. Payroll records show he was paid for a midnight-7:30 a.m. shift at a homeless shelter on Massachusetts Avenue while also being paid for a midnight-2 a.m. shift at Bill's Bar on Lansdowne Street. He received a total of $304.

Also under investigation are Lieutenant Frederick J. Conley, Patrolman Edward L. Gately, Patrolman Gregory G. Matthews, and Sergeant Michael Wosny. Scores more officers could come under scrutiny in coming months, O'Toole said, as police officials in the detail payroll division comb through 1,400-odd time cards that payroll records indicate officers submitted for overlapping shifts.

Kraft told the Globe that he wrote the wrong date on one of his time cards, creating the appearance of an overlap. Foley, Smith, Conley, Gately, Matthews, and Wosny did not respond to messages left with supervisors yesterday and last week.

According to the Globe's analysis, Patrolman Joseph F. Scannell racked up the most cases of overlap with 23, involving 44 shifts. On June 8, 2002, payroll records show he was paid for working three details at once, at an NStar job on Clarendon Street, a nearby parking garage, and Mount St. Joseph Academy in Brighton. He told the Globe it was because of clerical errors.

In 11 instances, Scannell was paid for shifts at Symphony Hall, while also getting paid to be at the John Hancock Tower parking garage, payroll records show. Scannell said Symphony Hall representatives may have signed him in early for those shifts, creating the overlaps. ''Sometimes they fill out the card, and we just turn it in," he said. A Symphony Hall spokeswoman, Bernadette Horgan, said Symphony Hall officials never fill out time cards.

''All officers are responsible for filling in their own detail slips," Horgan said.

Paid details are a lucrative part of Boston Police officers' compensation packages. With a city law requiring that at least one Boston police officer be present at every road construction site, police unions negotiate hourly rates for details into their contracts. Detail officers are also often required to direct traffic or work crowd control at large events, and some nightclubs hire them for extra security. Last year Boston police officers were paid a total of $26.3 million for 129,909 details.

Other states allow the hiring of flagmen to work construction sites at a fraction of the price. In Boston, the police union's new contract gave officers a $4 hourly raise for details, increasing the rates to $32 an hour for the lowest-rank officers and to $47 for the highest.

Police officials concede their system for keeping track of detail pay has no effective checks for catching double-payments. The two police offices responsible for assigning details -- one for Big Dig assignments and another for all other assignments -- do not compare assignments or payroll records to detect overlaps, said John E. Zuccaro, who heads the Paid Detail Payment Unit. Several of the officers most often double-paid had Big Dig assignments that overlapped with assignments handled by the other office. And businesses or government entities like the Big Dig are often lax in determining whether detail officers worked all their assigned hours. At the job sites, officers' time cards are typically signed by representatives of the companies requesting the details, but some acknowledge that oversight is not a priority.

''We try our best to monitor what happens at our construction sites, but our main focus is on the job itself," said John Vincenzo a spokesman for Verizon, which was billed for 82 shifts for which the officers were also getting paid to be somewhere else.

At the Big Dig -- which was billed for 121 shifts in which officers were also paid to be somewhere else -- managers at the sites simply sign officers' time cards at the beginning and end of shifts.

''The Turnpike Authority expects that police officers scheduled to be on the street for Big Dig construction details are on site and doing what they're paid to do," Matthew J. Amorello, chairman of the Turnpike Authority, said in a written response to Globe questions about the authority's supervision of police details.

Big Dig work sites are so large that the numerous detail police are overseen by police supervisors. But that supervision is anything but foolproof.

Take the case of Sergeant Detective Elton M. Grice, who was paid to supervise about a dozen officers working Big Dig detail assignments during a late-night shift on June 10, 2003. But he spent part of his shift in a Tremont Street nightclub. Three managers at Aria said Grice showed up at about 11 p.m., saying he would be one of the club's security detail officers for the night. Grice, whose Big Dig shift began at 10 p.m., denies that. But an image taken by a nightclub security camera at about 11:40 p.m. shows Grice in uniform at the front door. He did not submit a time card for detail pay at the club.

Grice, acknowledging that he had left his Big Dig post, asserted that, as a supervisor, he had no responsibility to be present for the full shift for which he was being paid.

''I don't have to be at a certain location as a supervisor," Grice said, noting that he had checked on some of the detail officers he was supposed to oversee and that some of them were working sites near the club.

Even some of the highest ranking officers in the Paid Detail Assignment Unit saw no problems with collecting pay for working two details at once. The unit's commander, Captain Edward C. Wallace, whom O'Toole promoted to the post in June, got paid for the same hour's work at Fenway Park and at Copley Plaza in April 2002. In an interview with the Globe last week, Wallace called the overlap a ''bonus hour" and said it is normal procedure at Red Sox games to receive an extra hour's pay. Superintendent Goslin, the head of internal affairs, said there is no policy allowing officers to bill for hours they didn't work.

Just as there is little effective supervision of officers, there is little scrutiny of time cards once they are submitted. Officers turn in time cards for details worked, and clerical staff enter the hours into payroll orders. Because the payroll system does not check for overlaps, Zuccaro said that he relies on officers to catch mistakes. Each week, he sends lists to all district stations showing which officers are due to receive detail pay, along with the shifts for which they are being paid. He acknowledges that officers trying to manipulate the system are not likely to report themselves.

He said his office also counts on vendors, which receive itemized bills for detail work, to notify him if officers didn't work the shifts. ''We assume the information we get back from both the officer and the vendor is correct," he said.

Companies occasionally report officers who have not worked full shifts, Zuccaro said. But some say that when they have discovered problems, they were reluctant to report them for fear of reprisals.

''They're blacklisted if they do," said Alan Eisner, president of the Massachusetts Hospitality Association, which represents bars and restaurants. Boston police officers are also agents of the city's liquor licensing board, with authority to inspect bars and nightclubs, and Eisner said his members refrain from reporting problems rather than risk extra scrutiny from officers who want to get even.

''It's pay along to go along, to get along," Eisner said.

O'Toole vowed to put an end to such fears and said anyone with information about detail officers who may have been paid for shifts they didn't work should contact her immediately.

''If there's any hint whatsoever that that's happening, I want them to come to me personally," said O'Toole, who added that she had concerns about paid details since she was appointed commissioner early this year.

''They can speak to me on the record or anonymously, and I will address it, personally."

Matthew Carroll of the Globe staff contributed to this report.Donovan Slack can be reached at [email protected].
 

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Other states allow the hiring of flagmen to work construction sites at a fraction of the price. In Boston, the police union's new contract gave officers a $4 hourly raise for details, increasing the rates to $32 an hour for the lowest-rank officers and to $47 for the highest.



Leave it to the GLOBE to through in that little line about flagmen. Nothing like throwing that into the mix. :BM:
 

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What they don't mention about flagmen is that the construction bill for the flagmen at almost the same rate that's paid for the details. Then they turn around and pay them short money.

A friend of mine is an engineer for a road construction company. He says that he and the workers feel safer with a cop present, rather than a borderline retard with an orange vest and a sign.
 

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The Boston Globe is nothing more then a pinko palace of left leaning liberals. They push the agenda of lefty liberals like Kerry and Kennedy. A P.O. is trying to make an honest living by working extra hours. What we know is that those extra hours mean less time with your family and friends. Sweating during the summer and cold in the winter, but a P.O. does it for their family. Not all men can seduce an elderly widow worth a billion dollars like John "Gigolo" Kerry did.

The Globe can laugh for now, but unless they supply helicopters for transport in and out of the city for all their employees this will not be the last time a brief interview will be held between a Globe employee and a member of BPD, except this time the P.O. will be holding the pen and asking the questions.
 

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Here, here, MarkBoston. Funny how thier demeanor changes when the situation's reversed and they're the one's giving the answers.

:cussing: I wont even use the Globe to wipe my &$$. Its a sad thing when the paper witholds facts and bold-faced lies to the underinformed public, who more often then not continute to buy the rag with hopes of another "breaking investigation". :2up:
 

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A P.O. is trying to make an honest living by working extra hours. What we know is that those extra hours mean less time with your family and friends.
Pardon if I am wrong, but is billing for different places during the same time making "an honest living"???????????

It is unfortunate that the mistakes of a few ruin the image of an entire department.
 

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A P.O. is trying to make an honest living by working extra hours. What we know is that those extra hours mean less time with your family and friends.
Pardon if I am wrong, but is billing for different places during the same time making "an honest living"???????????

It is unfortunate that the mistakes of a few ruin the image of an entire department.
Are you fully aware of what you are talking about? Are you aware that a P.O. gets an automatic 4 hours of detail time for going to the detail? What if the detail only was a quick repair job that lasted only 2 hours? What would you have the P.O. do? Wait until the full 4 hours is up before going to another detail?

I can see by your uninformed views that you are unable to work details for a city or town department. I suggest that your jealousy of P.O.'s who are able to work details is coloring your judgment. Please feel free to question any member of the BPD face to face about this distorted story. Maybe if you are lucky you'll ask that question in a loud and disorderly voice in the officer's opinion and then you'll get a tour of one of the stations.

Matter of fact I recall you were bitching about BPD not locking up one of YOUR MV stops. If you have a problem with the department I suggest you move to a more woodland area because BPD has been around since 1853.
 

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Pinkos, I understand what you are saying... and Mark, I can understand what you're saying (I too work the 4 hour detail blocks), but Chill out man, everytime you jump on someone about something BPD related your arrogance shows.

It's easy to appear to be double dipping details because, like Mark said, they are 4 hour blocks. I.e. I work a Verizon detail scheduled 8-12 and it finishes up just before 10... a neighboring town calls for a last minute detail for a phone pole replacement after an accident which lasts less than 2 hours so i dip over there, cha-ching- more $$$.. so in about 4 hours I collect 8 hours of detail pay. It's a small perk of being a Police Officer... Where I work, technically ANYTHING over 4 hours goes to 8 hours... so if I work 4 and a half hours I get 8 hours of pay...

As far as BPD actually showing up for details... well, thats another thread...
 

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Pinkos, I understand what you are saying... and Mark, I can understand what you're saying (I too work the 4 hour detail blocks), but Chill out man, everytime you jump on someone about something BPD related your arrogance shows.

It's easy to appear to be double dipping details because, like Mark said, they are 4 hour blocks. I.e. I work a Verizon detail scheduled 8-12 and it finishes up just before 10... a neighboring town calls for a last minute detail for a phone pole replacement after an accident which lasts less than 2 hours so i dip over there, cha-ching- more $$$.. so in about 4 hours I collect 8 hours of detail pay. It's a small perk of being a Police Officer... Where I work, technically ANYTHING over 4 hours goes to 8 hours... so if I work 4 and a half hours I get 8 hours of pay...

As far as BPD actually showing up for details... well, thats another thread...
You were doing so well up until the last sentence...I don't even mind being called arrogant...since I believe that is Swedish for having a large p*n*s. My only question is how do you know?
 

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MarkBoston @ Wed 08 Sep said:
The Boston Globe is nothing more then a pinko palace of left leaning liberals. They push the agenda of lefty liberals like Kerry and Kennedy. A P.O. is trying to make an honest living by working extra hours. What we know is that those extra hours mean less time with your family and friends. Sweating during the summer and cold in the winter, but a P.O. does it for their family. Not all men can seduce an elderly widow worth a billion dollars like John "Gigolo" Kerry did.

The Globe can laugh for now, but unless they supply helicopters for transport in and out of the city for all their employees this will not be the last time a brief interview will be held between a Globe employee and a member of BPD, except this time the P.O. will be holding the pen and asking the questions.
Hey mark Reading your post and having ADD is giving me a headache cause i'm trying to read and look at that avatar at the same time nice one :p

Scott :pc:

Posted Fri 10 Sep, 2004:

I used to work as a Loss Prevention Investigator for Shaws and some of our stores would have details every night it is the loss prevention department that hires the details so when I worked I used to always sign the slips i never looked at then and i really didn't care cause i knew if the Defacation hit the occillation that that officer on my detail might not go home so he deserves to make a couple of extra bucks it's fine by me and my company never checked up on it. I had details leave a lil bit early on like a friday or saturday night so they can get to one of the club details and i'd just tell the officer to write it out til midnight they deserve it. The people that are complaining are just jealous that's all. People like this Jackal that wrote the article don't remember the fact that police officers are killed in the line of duty every day even if they are just standing at a hole directing traffic.

Just my :2c:

Scott :pc:
 

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Correct me if I am wrong here, but the taxpayers aren't paying for the details anyway so what is the really big deal? The town I am familiar with charges the construction company/club/store/whatever a set rate for the officer, plus $X an hour for the cruiser and $X and hour "administraive fees"... and because it doesn't actually cost the town $X to run a cruiser and lights for an hour or $X in administrative fees the town actually makes a buck or two an hour on the detail. Unfortunately, most readers of the article see "tax dollars" going to waste here when its not. In no way am I saying that I agree with a damn thing in the article, I'm just saying that even if there was money "wasted" here (which I don't see), its not taxpayer money to begin with. :2c:

Nice avitar Mark! :wl: =P~
 

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The reason people get upset is because the company then "adjusts" the cost of their product to compensate themselves for the police detail money. Therefore, the average consumer is affected by police details because of the increased costs the company is charging.
 

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The reason people get upset is because the company then "adjusts" the cost of their product to compensate themselves for the police detail money. Therefore, the average consumer is affected by police details because of the increased costs the company is charging.
The only time I've really heard it complained about was at Selectmen/Alderman meetings when some twerp stands up and complains about the "police presence" at construction sites and how its raising his taxes.

While I understand business principles and that the cost is transmitted to the consumer, I have yet to hear some monther standing in my Market Basket complain that the police officer standing watch is causing a ten cent increase in the cost of her potatos.
 

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The Globe can laugh for now, but unless they supply helicopters for transport in and out of the city for all their employees this will not be the last time a brief interview will be held between a Globe employee and a member of BPD, except this time the P.O. will be holding the pen and asking the questions.
[/b]
So you would retaliate against the globe for this article by holding globe reporters to a different standard on a traffic stop?

Or did I just read that wrong? ;)
b

Posted Fri 10 Sep, 2004 20:22:

[
Are you fully aware of what you are talking about? Are you aware that a P.O. gets an automatic 4 hours of detail time for going to the detail? What if the detail only was a quick repair job that lasted only 2 hours? What would you have the P.O. do? Wait until the full 4 hours is up before going to another detail?


Four hours as a minimum is fine. No problem with that at all.

Now, billing for being in two places at once - like 6a-6pm at one job and 8a-8pm at another (a similar situation was alleged in the Globe article) - if its true - is wrong, it's criminal, and is quite unprofessional.

I can see by your uninformed views that you are unable to work details for a city or town department. I suggest that your jealousy of P.O.'s who are able to work details is coloring your judgment.
What's this have to do with anything?

Please feel free to question any member of the BPD face to face about this distorted story. Maybe if you are lucky you'll ask that question in a loud and disorderly voice in the officer's opinion and then you'll get a tour of one of the stations.
So we're not allowed to question the detail issues outlined in this policy in person to a member of BPD for fear of arrest? That's professional.

Might want to tone it down a bit.

Bryan

Posted Fri 10 Sep, 2004 20:23:

My only question is how do you know?
I know - because I sign the authorization to pay them.

B.
 

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Unfortunately your comprehension of my prior statements leaves a lot to be desired. It is also unfortunate that MCAS was not a requirement when you completed your schooling. But keep taking the civil service tests who knows lighting may strike and your 79 might be misread as a 97 one day. Then and only then will you be able to understand the need for police details. For now you are a 10/hr flunky signing a slip for a law enforcement professional who is making more then 3 times an hour then you are and you are jealous.
 

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Unfortunately your comprehension of my prior statements leaves a lot to be desired. It is also unfortunate that MCAS was not a requirement when you completed your schooling. But keep taking the civil service tests who knows lighting may strike and your 79 might be misread as a 97 one day. Then and only then will you be able to understand the need for police details. For now you are a 10/hr flunky signing a slip for a law enforcement professional who is making more then 3 times an hour then you are and you are jealous.
No, I think I read your statements just fine, thanks.

<edited: I wrote some other stuff in here and decided I wasn't going to stoop to that level>

Good day --
B
 

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People, People, People......Let's all calm down.

All of us know that paid details are a pretty sweet gig. Massachusetts is one of the only states to even offer them. However, the system can be abused and we all know people that do it. Is it wrong? Yes. Is it allowed, probably. I won't even get into "unofficial" or "off the books" details in Boston. Let's just say when you see a Boston cop at Faneuil Hall on a friday or saturday night, they didn't just "forget" to put their badge on, they simply don't want to be identified.

Bottom line is that the guys that are being "investigated" are still working some major hours on top of their normal work week, thus taking time away from their families etc. The bigger issue should be that many officers are forced to work details because their normal pay isn't that great. Police put up with the worst society has to offer, yet in many cases get paid less than your average garbageman!
 

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People, People, People......Let's all calm down.

Bottom line is that the guys that are being "investigated" are still working some major hours on top of their normal work week, thus taking time away from their families etc. The bigger issue should be that many officers are forced to work details because their normal pay isn't that great. Police put up with the worst society has to offer, yet in many cases get paid less than your average garbageman!
And on that, we agree completely.
 
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