Audit of the Honolulu Police Department’s Overtime Policies, Procedures, and Protocols, Resolution 21-58
from Honolulu City Auditor, May 28, 2022
This audit was conducted pursuant to Resolution 21-58, which was adopted on April 14, 2021 and requested the city auditor to conduct a performance audit of the Honolulu Police Department’s (HPD) policies and procedures related to officer overtime. Specifically, the audit objectives were to address:
1. Whether the HPD’s existing policies, protocols, and procedures, as they relate to HPD officer overtime, ensure the fair and equitable distribution of such overtime to all HPD officers, rather than just to certain HPD officers;
2. Whether the HPD’s existing policies, protocols, and procedures, as they relate to HPD officer overtime allowances, ensure that HPD overtime privileges are not abused (e.g. that overtime work performed can be accounted for, is not excessive, and is consistent with HPD policies, protocols, and procedures); and
3. Recommendations for improvements to such HPD policies, protocols, and procedures to reduce the overall amount of overtime compensation being paid by the City to HPD officers, to ensure the equitable distribution of the opportunities to earn overtime pay among all HPD officers, and to ensure that such overtime privileges are not being abused.
We found that although HPD has developed policies and procedures for managing overtime, those policies and procedures are inconsistently applied and interpreted across the various HPD districts and divisions. This results in overall ineffective management of overtime, including an unequal distribution of overtime hours among officers. Additionally, overtime cards, which document overtime requests and approval for payroll purposes, are managed manually, increasing the risk for human error, abuse, and fraud.
We also found that there are no limits to the amount of overtime an individual officer can work. HPD is experiencing officer shortages caused by various factors, including special assignments, decreasing training academy graduation rates, and increasing uniformed retirements. Overtime is the primary tool to address these shortages, but by allowing an unlimited use of overtime, HPD is not accounting for risks such as officer fatigue. Additionally, despite the overtime use, the department was still unable to meet staffing minimums in certain districts in FY 2020.
The audit report makes six recommendations to improve the police department’s policies, protocols, and procedures related to overtime management. The Police Chief and Managing Director generally agreed with the audit’s findings and recommendations, and indicated that the department has begun to implement some of the recommendations....
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BACKGROUND: Honolulu PD ‘Top 10 Earners’ List Revealed–Did Corporal make $341K?
CB: HPD Overtime Is Expensive And Vulnerable to Fraud, Audit Finds
KHON: Audit finds HPD ineffectively managing overtime
HNN: Pressure on HPD to fill shifts led to lax overtime practices
SA: Audit of Honolulu Police Department reveals $38 million in overtime
SA Editorial: HPD must stop overtime abuse
HPR: Honolulu police overtime procedures are inconsistent and ineffective, city audit says
CB: Cookie Jar