Although Philadelphia’s police and fire employees can’t pump up their pensions through overtime, many do pump up their paychecks each year by tens of thousands of dollars or more - much more.
In fact, a few have taken in nearly half a million dollars each - just in overtime during the five-year period from 2009 to 2013. The Police Department had by far the largest overtime payouts, totaling nearly $315 million in that time, city payroll records show.
The top 25 OT earners citywide for that period were all police officers or firefighters, with homicide Detective Levi Morton’s $498,730 topping the list for the five-year period. Thirteen other police officers, as well as two firefighters, earned more than $400,000 in overtime alone in the past five years.
Homicide Detective Ronald Dove also reaped $404,579 in overtime in that period. He was fired in November amid allegations that he helped his girlfriend flee to upstate New York after she became a suspect in a murder. His girlfriend, Erica Sanchez, has been charged in a man’s killing in September, and authorities say Dove has been uncooperative in the investigation into that slaying, as well as two other cases potentially tied to Sanchez’s family.
Dove, 41, earned between $64,025 and $72,634 annually in base pay from 2009 to 2013 but averaged more than $148,000 in total pay in each of those years, including overtime.
Lt. Melvin Williams, the homicide supervisor who collected the most overtime of any city employee in 2013, has received $429,540 in OT pay since 2009.
Williams, who has worked for the city since 1987, logged about 6,300 hours in overtime in this five-year period, or an average of 25 hours beyond his regular work week in order to accrue that much overtime pay, according to a Philly.com estimate.
His earnings first came into the public eye last month when Philly.com reported the supervisor collected $108,025 of the nearly $200 million of overtime paid to city workers in 2013.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey was initially surprised to learn of Williams’ OT for 2013 while discussing large amounts of hours logged by detectives in the department’s homicide unit.
“I can understand with the detectives,” Ramsey said in an interview last month. “But I can’t understand as well for supervisors.”
A police spokesman said Thursday that the department had no further information regarding Williams’ overtime.
“That’s something that would be addressed internally,” Lt. John Stanford said. “It would be handled internally, any need for addressing personnel, adding personnel, that sort of thing.”