Tahoe Police work hours increase due to recent homicides
Police officials in the South Lake Tahoe area have been dealing with more homicide investigations than in the last few years, which has required more working hours and overtime pay than usual.
Between July 20 and Aug. 14, Julian Acevedo, Manpreet Singh and Shirley Gordon were murdered, according to South Lake Tahoe Police Department. The three homicides in three weeks have bucked a five-year trend in the South Lake Tahoe area.
According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Unified Crime Reporting website, from 2007 to 2011, South Lake Tahoe had three “murders and non-negligent manslaughters,” with none in 2009 and 2010. Statistics were not available for 2012. Two of the murders have yet to be solved — or even procure a public announcement of a suspect’s name — and one has a suspect in custody.
“There’s no relation between the homicides,” South Lake Tahoe Police Chief Brian Uhler said. “It doesn’t seem to be one perpetrator or a group of perpetrators. We just happen to have the unfortunate occurrence of these events that statistically were out of the ordinary for us. And they all happened to come at one time.”
The acts of violence have stretched the police department’s resources and overtime pay, according to Lt. Brian Williams.
Numbers of average overtime payment for the department were not available, but Williams said typically in a two-week pay period, the cost of overtime during high-volume population times could be between $6,000 to $8,000 and sometimes $10,000. That does not include dispatch payments.
According to actual figures from the department’s last three overtime pay periods (starting July 19, a day before the fatal stabbing of Acevedo), the July 19 payment period was $15,000; Aug. 2 was $25,000; and Aug. 16 was $31,000.
Those figures account for the entire department and all the cases officers may be putting in for overtime, but Uhler said 75 percent of the overtime money during this time frame has been dedicated to the homicide cases.
Each overtime pay rate is different depending on the position of the respective officer.
“This doesn’t account for the overtime that the outside agencies are paying to their personnel,” Williams said.
Uhler said he is ...