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Law enforcement overtime is well-justified

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I’m surprised about the reaction regarding overtime by some supposed knowledgeable business people both in your original article (“County spent $4.8 million on overtime,” Journal, Feb. 12) and your online feedback section. First off, these officers are professionals. They train hundreds of hours each year and have all been through the police academy. Some local business owners are calling for the hiring of part-time employees to take up the slack as opposed to paying the overtime. Are you seriously implying that we give a badge and a gun to some part-timer and ask them to go out with the power to take a life or deprive someone of their liberty on a part-time basis? Would you let a part-time surgeon cut you open to save money on your health insurance? How many of us would get on an airplane knowing the pilot is just part-time help with minimal training? My guess is not many. To put it another way, in the police business, there is a need to provide service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In business, we can figure that we have a budget that allows us to staff every position in our organization (in this case it would be a beat or post) for that 24/7 period. Now if one of the employees gets sick or goes on vacation, It would be ludicrous to hire another person to backfill the position and pay a whole new set of benefits when we can ask a current employee to work overtime. Now, for those of you complaining about these few deputies with big overtime checks. They are the ones volunteering to work late so their coworkers aren’t forced to work overtime. Think about it. We still have to pay for the same amount of man/work hours no matter if it’s divvied up between 10 or 200. This is basic math and basic business. Bob Brodovsky Penryn