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Police officer piles up overtime pay at boat show

Overtime is the nature of police work, Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh said after receiving criticism from county legislators last year. But paying a deputy 54 hours of overtime for manning a boat show has placed the office back in the public eye.

The sheriff’s department argues that boating safety is crucial and educational outreach is a big part of safety.

Sheriff's Sgt. John Stephens worked community relations detail at the Central New York Boat Show for five days, according to the (Syracuse) Post-Standard.

Stephens worked at the boat show Feb. 12-16 at the state fairgrounds. He worked 14-1/2 hours the first day, all of it overtime because it was supposed to be his day off, according to county payroll records, the Post-Standard reported.

Those 54 hours of overtime cost taxpayers about $2,800.

The sheriff's office handed out navigation pamphlets on boating safety and answered questions about navigation law, Undersheriff Warren Darby told the Post-Standard.

"It's a safety thing for the boating community," Darby said. "We are the law enforcement on the water in the summertime."

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