Ongoing financial issues at the Bexar County Jail recently put detention officer overtime hours on the chopping block, a crisis averted at the last minute thanks to a deal worked out with county commissioners by Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau.
The issue began in 2010, when detention officers were forced to work overtime on a regular basis due to inadequate staffing at the jail.
They were paid for those overtime hours through funding allocated on a yearly basis by the county commissioners.
For the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, county commissioners only allocated $250,000 for overtime pay.
That’s compared to $1.7 million for fiscal year 2011-2012.
The money ran out on Dec. 15, meaning that detention officers would not be paid for overtime hours already worked.
Inheriting the problem from the previous administration, Sheriff Susan Pamerleau arranged a deal that will pay these deputies for overtime hours through Jan. 14.
Overtime hours worked after that will be paid in compensatory time off.
Pamerleau plans to prevent solutions to the staffing crisis to Commissioners’ Court on Jan. 29.
She said she will lay out proposals that will raise staffing levels and therefore make the problem of mandatory overtime a thing of the past.