SPRINGFIELD – Budget cuts and staff reductions have led to a jump in overtime costs for the Illinois State Police.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reported the agency paid $1.7 million more in overtime during the last fiscal year than it did in 2010.
Total overtime increased by 20,000 hours in 2013, compared with three years earlier. Over that period, the budget shrank by $34 million to $383 million.
Union representative Mike Powel says there’s “a severe morale issue.”
State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond says she’s not aware of a morale problem. She says budgets are being cut across the country and the agency must “hold the line and utilize the resources we have.”
She says the harsh winter also likely had a role in the overtime increase.