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."