As budget season nears for the city of Syracuse, councilors are asking where the police and fire departments stand with overtime and staffing. Both departments are understaffed, but are also making efforts to reduce overtime pay.
Syracuse is spending around $10 million a year in overtime for police and fire. Fire Chief Michael Monds said staffing is at the bare minimum and overtime is the lowest it’s been in recent years.
“Hiring a class directly impacts the overtime line," Monds said. "We have more tasks and responsibilities we’re doing. We’re doing more and more with less and less. Some of these things that we have to do, some of these mandated duties, they’re going to have to be done on overtime because there is not enough staff and time during the day to do it.”
The fire department is planning on hiring a new class of 28 people to fill current vacancies and anticipated retirements.