DC police forced to pay officers overtime for two 2009 events

A scheduling technique known as "All Hands on Deck" will cost the D.C. police: An arbitrator found officers are owed back pay for two 2009 instances in which the policy was used.

Mayor Vincent Gray's administration will not appeal a ruling ordering the city to pay back overtime to thousands of officers who were required to work during special events in 2009.

The decision could cost tens of millions of dollars, according to the police union.

Kris Baumann, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police, says the cost will be about $4 million per “all hands on deck” weekend. The union claims the city on average has had about eight such weekends a year since 2007.

The police department says the ruling only applies to two weekends. A spokeswoman says the total amount it far less than Baumann suggests.

"The total cost of that payment will be far less than the ‘multi-million dollar payment’ claimed by the FOP," says MPD spokesperson Gwen Crump.

The Public Employees Relation Board found the Metropolitan Police Department violated a union contract by requiring officers to work during several All Hands On Deck events in 2009. Those policies have been in use since 2007. Lanier has continued to use the scheduling technique into 2011.

Lanier has no plans to discontinue the use of the scheduling technique, according to an email from Crump.

"As long as Chief Lanier feels that the AHODs are a valid crime fighting tool, she will continue to use them." Crump wrote.

Baughman says the ruling on the 2009 AHODs should extend to all AHODs and his group plans on taking that issue to court.

“It’s reckless, it’s irresponsible and it's a bad management decision,” Baumann said of the “all hands on deck” policy.

Crump would not say why the city declined to pursue an appeal. Lanier has been a staunch defender of the policy as an effective means to reduce crime.

Lanier has begun the process of determining which officers are owed money and how much.

Police have begun identifying officers who worked overtime in those two cases “and will pay them an additional half-time pay for all hours worked outside their regular tours of duty on those dates,” said Crump.