By Larry Johnson
A Seattle Police Department patrol officer was paid more than $414,000 in 2019.
That’s more than the U.S. President, who makes $400,000 even, and more than many surgeons and CEOs.
Obviously, it’s a ton of money.
In fact, on several occasions, Police Officer Ron Willis was paid for more than 24 hours in a single days, thanks to a quirk in the police contract with the City of Seattle that allows it.
The Seattle Times reported the situation, noting that Willis was paid for two years’ work during a single year. He got paid for working between 90-123 hours per week last summer for seven straight weeks.
Willis, who is 58, made more than any other city employee in 2019, including the mayor and the police chief. All told, he was paid for an average of 80 hours per week.
That seems crazy, even with unusual contract provisions that make you wish you had that kind of job.
So far, nobody has accused Willis of any wrongdoing, although he made about twice as much as the next most highly-paid cop.
That may be because he didn’t do anything wrong, but it also may be because Seattle PD officials don’t really have an effective system of tracking overtime pay. They’re scheduled to get one soon, but don’t hold your breath, because it’s been in the works for about four years. The department has 2,000 employees, including about
Thus far, the police department and Willis himself have not responded to Times’ requests for comment.
Willis made $214,000 in overtime pay, about $129,000 in regular pay, and $70,000 or so in back pay.
The department’s records, the Times report, show internal discrepancies.
I’m going to leave this right here. Occam’s Razor, however, holds that the simplest explanation is most often the best.