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San Francisco cops can make $600k-plus as hundreds of positions go unfilled

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(The Center Square) — Two of the highest-paid city/county of San Francisco employees were city police sergeants who made $653,854 and $609,367 in 2023 thanks to $400,000 plus in overtime.

Now, the board of supervisors is being told that 20% of the sworn police positions remain unfilled and the city is looking at even more overtime as it struggles to find police employees.

The city received a report at its April 2 Board of Supervisors meeting that it has 410 vacant sworn vacancies out of 2,064 total sworn positions.

City documents state that the SFPD projects spending more than twice what the city budgeted in overtime for this year. The city projects police will spend $93 million in overtime from the FY 2023-24 General Fund but the city only budgeted $41.4 million.

The department had about 417,880 hours of overtime in the fiscal year 2023-2024, and 79% of those hours are categorized as “extended work week,” covering the backfilling of vacant positions, special event staffing, and other duties not involved with arrest, investigation, court, or academy training.

The SFPD has hired about 177 retirees to backfill vacant positions. A city analysis stated that the city needed to hire 600 sworn officers and another 227 civilian staff members to address a “significant staffing deficit.”

The city of San Francisco and the San Francisco police department did not respond to emails seeking comment.

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