Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon announced Tuesday that jail deputies will no longer be scheduled overtime once the budgeted overtime funds are depleted for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
The move is effective Tuesday, the start of the new fiscal year. Napoleon, a mayoral candidate, said in a news release the change will most likely result in funding running out before the end of 2013, leaving the jails unable to schedule overtime for at least nine months.
The department, beleaguered by chronic deficit spending, spent more than $17 million in overtime at its three county jails last year. The 2013-14 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, 2014, has budgeted $3.6 million for overtime.
Napoleon’s office, in the announcement, said he does not control the intake or release of inmate and the jail population and staffing ratios in the three county jails are established through a Wayne County Circuit Court consent order, supervised by Judge Timothy Kenny.
“For years, the county has engaged in fantasy budgeting,” Napoleon said in the statement. “We have been funded for approximately 1,800 inmates a day but the real number is closer to 2,800, including those on tether. The incarceration of the additional inmates is approved by the court.
“Without adequate staffing at the jails, we must backfill on overtime costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Since the county won’t hire deputies, we can either continue to deficit spend or simply stop paying overtime when we run out of money.”
Napoleon's announcement Tuesday comes just weeks after the sheriff's office told Wayne County commissioners the department needed 170 more officers and that jail workers are being hospitalized weekly because of the overtime worked.
Commissioners at their Sept. 12 meeting, said that even if the department hires new deputies the Sheriff's Office would likely finish the fiscal year at about $10 million over budget.