Continuing with the theme of my previous post concerning the increasing nature of drunk driving as a money-making proposition, local governments aren’t the only ones on the gravy train: Police officers are doing pretty well, too. Bottom line: The more DUI arrests — valid or not — the more money everyone makes.
Officer’s Pay Tops $172,000
Overtime on DWI cases inflates some salaries
Houston, April 22. As a senior officer in the Houston Police Department, William Lindsey Jr. received a salary of about $72,000 last year. Because he is on the department’s DWI Task Force, however, Lindsey’s overtime pay put him at an income level rivaling Mayor Bill White and Police Chief Harold Hurtt…
Lindsey’s total income of more than $172,576 from HPD last year put his pay above White’s $165,000 but below Hurtt’s $184,000. The mayor and police chief are not eligible for overtime pay…
Defense attorneys who specialize in DWI cases contend some task force members manipulate arrests to accumulate overtime…
Last week, at least two DWI cases in which task force members testified ended in acquittal. Defense lawyer Sam Adamo, who represented one defendant, said he and other DWI specialists have been attempting to inform jurors about the task force and the overtime pay, but they often are blocked by judges and prosecutors.
“These guys are like small-town speed traps,” Adamo said. “Regular officers have to work extra jobs. But these (task force) guys don’t have to, because they’re making so much money coming down to the courthouse.”
As any DUI attorney knows, an officer generally earns more money when he makes a bad arrest than a good one. The good arrest usually ends up in a plea, and the officer’s presence in court is not required. It is only when the case goes to trial — usually because the defendant believes he is innocent or because there is insufficient evidence to justify the arrest — that the officer starts making the overtime.
(Thanks to Troy McKinney.)