State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

State College Faces Five-Figure Overtime Bills in Wake of Riot, Other Scandal Issues

on December 09, 2011 8:31 PM

State College police overtime expenses from the Nov. 9 riot and other scandal-related issues have climbed well into the five-figure range, borough police Chief Tom King said Friday.

As of Friday afternoon, he said, his department had logged 425 hours of overtime for the riot and all other events stemming from the Jerry Sandusky sexual-abuse and Penn State cover-up charges filed Nov. 5.

Given an average overtime expense rate of $65 an hour, King said, those hours will cost the department nearly $28,000.

But the extra bills for the borough won't stop there. The department also will assist the Bellefonte police Tuesday as they handle the Sandusky preliminary hearing. Plus, the State College department will commit labor to court hearings for riot-related cases, too, King said.

Already, as of Thursday, police had identified 42 people in connection with the riot.

All told, King said, the borough expects to log about 400 more hours of scandal-related overtime in the next couple months.

That will bring the total overtime cost "for all matters related to the Sandusky/Penn State event (that) began" Nov. 5 to about $55,000, King wrote via e-mail. (Criminal charges against Sandusky and two now-former Penn State administrators -- Gary Schultz and Tim Curley -- were filed Nov. 5.)

He said the department is likely to exceed its $565,000 overtime budget for 2011 by about $7,500.

But the department is projected to stay well within its overall budget of $8.86 million for the year, King said. He said vacancies on the police force have helped ease the expense sheet.

The department should end the year with about $8.6 million in total expenses, according to King.

Public-property damage caused during the Nov. 9 riot is projected in the $30,000 range. Multiple officers suffered injuries during the chaos, which erupted after Penn State trustees fired now-former football Coach Joe Paterno.

Private-property damage from the riot is expected to reach well into the six-figure range.

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