Overtime budget dwindling

January 30, 1998


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department overtime budget is nearly depleted with five months left to go in the fiscal year, Sheriff Bill Senseney told the County Commission Thursday.

The sheriff's department has spent about $24,000 in overtime and has about $1,000 left in the budget, Senseney said.

The department will make changes in the way overtime and holiday pay is handled in an attempt to get the overtime spending under control.

The department was paying deputies double-time if they worked holidays or if they worked a holiday on a scheduled day off, said Chief Deputy Jesse Jones.


About $20,000 of the overtime budget is needed to cover holiday pay, said Lt. Ken Mills.

In the past, the deputies were given their regular pay for working a holiday and given another day off, Jones said. He told the commissioners he will go back to that system.

In addition, Jones and Mills will review the holiday and overtime pay policies of the sheriff's department and present them to the county commissioners for review.

The deputies were being paid overtime if they worked more than an eight-hour day, Mills said.

County officials told them that overtime should not be paid until an employee has worked a 40-hour week.

Jones said that when possible, he will tell deputies to go home once they've worked their 40 hours in an attempt to bring down the cost of overtime.

Jefferson County Commissioner President Greg Lance said the county and the sheriff's department, which has nearly doubled in size from about six deputies five years ago to 11, should be able to work out the problems with the overtime funding.

Lance asked the sheriff's department to present a budget of what will be needed to provide for holiday coverage. He said once the numbers are presented and the county has a chance to review the new policy, which should help cut the costs, then the county commissioners can look at revising the budget.

One of the problems the sheriff's department faced last year is that three of the holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day - fell on Thursdays. The governor, followed by the county officials, then gave employees the following Fridays off as holidays so they could have four-day weekends, sheriff's department officials said.

That move added to the amount of money spent on overtime pay, they said.

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