Jackson pays millions in overtime

By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Officials say staffing shortages and added duties caused the city of Jackson to dole out around $3 million in overtime for police officers and firefighters in fiscal 2011.

The city does budget for overtime, but the two departments topped projections.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (http://bit.ly/qpqujn ) the city spent about $2.3 million on police officers, almost double the $1.2 million budgeted in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

The fire department initially was expected to spend $700,000 for the year in firefighter overtime but closed the year at $1.1 million.

Police Chief Rebecca Coleman said the overtime was needed because of extra shifts that officers were being asked to take on. These were designed to increase the visible police presence at public events and in shopping centers and other areas.