Cheryl Williams: Overtime pay for police officers

May 12, 2011 10:19:00 AM

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Hooray for Cpl. Donnie Elkin and whatever he makes working for the City of Columbus. He earns every dime he makes, whether it is on straight time or overtime. Apparently, Cpl. Elkin is a willing, energetic, trustworthy, and reliable officer. What is "loose" about the overtime policy held by the PD? What was the purpose of making this "story" a front-page "news item"? Are we citizens supposed to resent what is being paid to our police officers? 

 

The fact that Cpl. Elkin makes more than the mayor is hardly an issue. Along with other police officers, Cpl. Elkin undoubtedly works many more hours than the mayor does, for much less per hour, and many times not during daylight. The overall pay for these officers may exceed the salaries of some of the town''s department heads, but the officers are working more hours, for much less per hour, often in dangerous or untenable circumstances, and certainly not just during "regular" working hours of a Monday-Friday work week. No one should be embittered by the salaries paid to our police officers. 

 

The mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, makes a paltry $29,000 per year, and the population of that major city is more than 700,000. Columbus'' population is still shy of 25,000. Yet the mayor of this town is paid more than two and half times that of the mayor of Fort Worth, a city more than 28 times the size of Columbus. Should we begrudge what is being paid to Mayor Smith? 

 

Surely The Dispatch did not intend to suggest the citizens of Columbus should take issue with the salaries being earned by our police officers. Their job is very difficult, very dangerous, and often completely thankless. The fact that this town has officers who are even willing to work overtime should be lauded by the newspaper and not offered up as fodder for criticism. 

 

Cheryl Williams 

 

Columbus