Updated: Nov. 23, 2020 at 3:01 p.m.
After District police spent millions of dollars in excess overtime spending this summer, the D.C. Council unanimously voted Tuesday to require the Metropolitan Police Department to report overtime costs more frequently in the future.
The Council’s emergency legislation, which takes effect for 90 days barring a mayoral veto, stipulates that MPD must disclose its spending on police overtime shifts to broaden oversight of local law enforcement finances after every two pay periods, according to The Washington Post. The newly passed bill follows a summer with tense confrontations between protesters and police during several racial justice demonstrations that caused MPD to spend more than $40 million in overtime payments, the Post reported.
Mayor Muriel Bowser requested to reallocate $43 million of unspent city funds to finance the overtime spending fees that MPD logged over the summer – a move Council members have criticized for draining funding from social services. Even though lawmakers voted to reallocate funds from MPD to bolster social services in July, Bowser requested to pull funding from the Workforce Investment Fund, the Department of Health Care Finance and the city’s interest repayment fund for short-term borrowing, according to DCist.
Ward 1 Council member Brianne Nadeau said in a tweet earlier this month that MPD’s overspending was “reckless,” and the department shouldn’t receive funds previously intended for health and human services programs.
“This reprogramming is adding insult to injury, and it’s outrageous,” Nadeau said in the tweet thread. “While we cannot reverse the existing MPD expenditures, we can strengthen the Council’s checks and balances to ensure the mayor does not write another blank check to MPD in the future.”
This post has been updated to correct the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Bowser requested to reallocate $43 billion of unspent city fund to finance MPD’s overtime spending fees. She requested $43 million. We regret this error.