SPOKANE-- The Spokane Major Crime unit has already exhausted all of its overtime for the year due to a few homicide investigations, several standoffs, and a huge burglary ring bust.
The Major Crimes Unit has exceeded its overtime budget for the year by almost 100 hours. Now officials say they'll have to take hours away from other units within the department to make up the difference.
Lieutenant Joe Walker says the overtime started with the triple murder of Tracy Ader and her two children. "It took a lot of resources right from the beginning, everybody that goes out on that case and the detectives and patrol officers.”
Following that case, the murders of Sharlotte McGill and Kala Williams kept major crimes working around the clock. Then, detectives busted a large scale robbery ring, and worked the shootings of two Spokane County Deputies.
In just the first half of 2012, Major Crimes had already used the year's allotted overtime funds and then some. Officials say the overtime hours don't stop at the high profile cases. Major Crimes are often also called to things like a drowning or police standoff.
Lieutenant Walker says to make up the difference they'll have to pull from other unit's within the department. That means it will take longer for officers to respond to things like burglaries or non-injury car crashes.
Lieutenant Walker assures us it will not affect public safety. “Responding to somebody's call for help is always gonna be a priority and then they'll look at other areas after that…it's one of those things you just accept with the job and you always want to do the best you can for the community.”
The new budget cycle for the police department starts at the beginning of 2013. Officials say they will look at this year's overtime crisis, and decide whether to increase the amount for next year.