Detective sidelined in probe of overtime Homicide officer in city is assigned to desk duty

October 03, 1997|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore homicide detective suspected of filing for overtime not worked has been taken off the street and assigned to desk duty, a police spokesman said yesterday.

Officials said the incident apparently is isolated and does not involve others in the unit, which has 58 detectives and 10 supervisors.

Department and homicide commanders said they could not comment or say how much money is involved because it is an active case and considered a personnel matter.

"This is an ongoing internal investigation surrounding a detective's overtime submissions and the validity of those submissions," said Robert W. Weinhold Jr, the department's chief spokesman.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier ordered an audit of the homicide unit shortly after he arrived in 1994 after he discovered that the unit often paid 14 times as much a month in overtime salary as other police divisions.

Frazier called the audit by his inspection services office "a routine management survey" that was not prompted by a suspicion of wrongdoing.

Police officials were unable to provide a copy of the audit or provide budget figures for the unit late yesterday.

The 1994 audit came as some detectives were criticizing Frazier -- who thought many investigators had become entrenched -- for wanting to rotate them every three years.

The commissioner had charged that the criticism was coming from some detectives playing on public fears to protect their jobs, which carry overtime pay that often boosts their salaries by as much as 50 percent in a year.

Frazier said a cursory examination of weekly overtime reports revealed some detectives increased their salaries by as much as $25,000.

Most homicide detectives earn base pay of about $40,000 a year, police officials said.

In Washington, the police chief recently reassigned 17 homicide supervisors citing a plunging clearance rate and a reported organized "scam" to collect illegal overtime.

Pub Date: 10/03/97

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