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A look at Norwalk Police overtime statistics

Norwalk Police Officers Michael DiMeglio and Russell Ouellette provide security Jan. 26 in the Norwalk Public Library, as a drag queen story time takes place upstairs.

NORWALK, Conn. – The dollar figures earned by some Norwalk Police officers are unquestionably eye catching. They do it by working overtime, but how do their hours break down? And wouldn’t all those hours take a toll on an officer’s readiness for duty?

“Officers are not permitted to work in excess of 16 hours in a 24 hour period unless ordered to by the Chief. At the beginning of each shift, officers are required to report to roll-call. During roll-call a field supervisor evaluates their readiness to assume patrol duties,” Lt. Jared Zwickler wrote.

Norwalk Police Officer Russell Ouellette earned $246,587.61 in 2019, falling second only to Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski in the list of salaries earned by City employees. Officer Javier Mogollon was right behind Ouellette at $245,390.01. Officer Javier Mogollon earned $245,390.01.

“The numbers seem shocking at first glance. I hope NoN can put up more detailed numbers soon or let us know where to get them. 11 officers costing about 3 million a year, that must be a lot of overtime I’m guessing,” Babar Sheikh wrote in a comment on NancyOnNorwalk’s story.

The starting salary for a Norwalk police officer is $68,944, Zwickler said. They are paid time-and-a-half for City overtime. And the rates for an officer working a vendor jobs were/are:

  • January 2019 – Officer Hourly $65.28 – Supervisor $67.28
  • July 2019 – Officer Hourly $66.07 – Supervisor $68.07
  • January 2020 – Officer Hourly $66.28 – Supervisor $68.28

 

 

NancyOnNorwalk received the following breakdown of the pay earned by the 20 top earning Norwalk police officers, from Norwalk Communications Manager Josh Morgan:

 

Russell Oullette, $246,587.81
  • Extra work $118,190.55
  • Overtime $45,176.99
  • Regular $83,220.07

 

Javier Mogollon $245,390.91
  • Extra work $74,495.12
  • Overtime $87,366.90
  • Regular $83,528.89

 

David Nieves $242,592.73
  • Extra work $117,655.34
  • Overtime $41,433.93
  • Regular $83,503.46

 

 

Lt. Praveen John $234,385.38
  • Extra work $93,833.04
  • Overtime $31,530.54
  • Regular $109,021.80

 

 

George Daley $233,950.70
  • Extra work $97,973.70
  • Overtime $52,778.31
  • Regular $83,198.69

 

Mark Suda $229,567.12
  • Extra work $116,907.77
  • Overtime $29,469.18
  • Regular $83,190.17

 

Michael DiMeglio $222,136.78
  • Extra work $66,515.63
  • Overtime $71,904.56
  • Regular $83,716.59

 

 

Sgt. Joseph Moquin $221,171.07
  • Extra work $58,108.61
  • Overtime $64,066.39
  • Regular $98,996.07

 

 

Sgt. Gregg Scully $220,695.91
  • Extra work $92,539.85
  • Overtime $29,235.00
  • Regular $98,921.06

 

 

Paul Wargo $216,549.80
  • Extra work $80,049.28
  • Overtime $53,086.77
  • Regular $83,413.75

 

Sgt. Kevin Markert $212,830.28
  • Extra work $73,834.22
  • Overtime $39,367.74
  • Regular $99,628.32

 

Lt. Thomas Mattera $206,611.91
  • Extra work $83,337.19
  • Overtime $13,987.97
  • Regular $109,286.75

 

 

Louis Proto $204,716.73
  • Extra work $87,368.59
  • Overtime $34,389.30
  • Regular $82,958.84

 

 

Lt. Marc Lepore $200,575.07
  • Extra work $53,590.83
  • Overtime $37,640.15
  • Regular $109,344.09

 

 

Lt. William Lowe $199,410.91
  • Extra work $67,498.98
  • Overtime $22,845.14
  • Regular $109,066.79

 

Sgt. Peter White $198,218.14
  • Extra work $66,110.04
  • Overtime $32,314.80
  • Regular $99,793.30

 

 

Christopher Sgritta $189,873.86
  • Extra work $68,437.45
  • Overtime $37,696.15
  • Regular $83,740.26

 

Hector Delgado $189,613.40
  • Extra work $92,689.66
  • Overtime $16,945.47
  • Regular $79,978.27

 

 

John Haggerty $189,103.15
  • Extra work $26,090.98
  • Overtime $79,867.15
  • Regular $83,145.02

 

 

Garrett Kruger $189,444.45
  • Extra work $32,460.68
  • Overtime $57,370.49
  • Regular $99,613.28

 

 

Officers can sign up for extra work in accordance with their seniority.

“The officers who have been here the longest get to pick their overtime assignments first and each officer gets a turn based on their date of hire,” Zwickler wrote.

The City gets a 15 percent administrative fee for vendor jobs. The total for 2019 was about $757,000, Morgan said.

 

 

Historical info

NancyOnNorwalk has had a number of stories concerning police overtime. Police Union President Sgt. Dave O’Connor declined to comment for this story, so let’s review the information  we already have.

Officers on an extra work assignment are considered to be on duty, are wearing uniforms and a full gun belt, have a police radio and may have a patrol car; they respond to emergency calls, including medical situations, Sgt. David Orr, then-Police Union President, said in 2016, arguing that having police officers out on the streets makes Norwalk safer.

Officers doing extra duty work are paid by the private contractors and utility companies that hire them, with Eversource accounting for 50 to 55 percent of the workload, Orr said. In spring, summer and fall there are 40 to 60 officers spread out daily in Norwalk on extra-duty assignments, while in winter it’s about 30.

“The city takes a 15 percent administrative fee for these extra-work contracts. In 2014, that was $548,000 into the city general fund on the backs of our officers working these extra duty jobs. This past year, it was down a little bit, it was $490,000,” Orr said.

“When officers are receiving overtime it’s because there are vacancies or shortages in the department and it actually saves the city money in the long run. Now, I’m not saying I am for this, I think it’s a problem … but the overtime does save the city money because there’s no additional costs in benefits, pensions or anything like that,” then-Common Council Finance Committee Chairman Bruce Kimmel said in 2015.

“This is what the police officers need to live in the 30- to 40-mile radius that we are required to live,” Orr said in 2016. “We can’t live within 30 to 40 miles on our base salary; it’s not going to happen. Forget about getting married, having kids, sending them to college. It’s impossible.”

22 comments

Meghead August 11, 2020 at 8:06 am

With utmost respect for NPD and the good officers who risk their lives every shift to keep our communities safe, can we otherwise agree that an officer with a lengthy misconduct record, including suspension and a lawsuit for sexual assault, who is currently court-ordered to complete a DUI program following a hit-and-run charge (whose personnel file has gone missing and no one knows why), who also earns more than double his base salary in overtime and special events, is curious at best and offensive to Norwalk taxpayers, at worst?

Mari August 11, 2020 at 8:09 am

Good for them! Maybe these guys will be able to send their kids to college now….especially if they have more than one. Today just wearing a uniform is a risk…even if they are just directing traffic…so good for them. And comparing them to anyone who works for the BOE….LOL!

RIDICULOUS!!! August 11, 2020 at 8:13 am

If officers need a $200,000 salary to live 30 to 40 miles to work, then how much do people who have more education and have to drive to lets say NYC to work, and doesn’t make close to that amount of money have to live? Norwalk needs to stop making excuses for such high salaries, and the whole seniority thing is just unfair, their should be a limit, so that younger officers get a piece of the gold. If a large amount of the younger police officers can survive on their pay, like million of Americans, why can’t these older cops.

Ct. V August 11, 2020 at 9:09 am

If anyone wants at least one of the reasons our electric bill went up so much (and there are many), $66 an hour to someone to watch other people work isn’t helping. Who do they think pays Eversource?

stuart J garrelick August 11, 2020 at 10:11 am

No question, police officers need to make a certain living to be “comfortable” living in this area, but what is that income? What is the average income of those living in Norwalk, “comfortably? Just asking.
The overtime for the 20 officers listed came to well over $800,000. How many additional police salaries with benefits would that cover and would that be enough manpower to cover the “overtime”? Is there a problem hiring additional police? Just asking.
When work is being done on the roads with no police on the scene one man turns a sign indicating who should stop and go. Do we need a highly trained police man to perform this menial task? Are the police adding to this service meriting the additional cost? Could a less trained, less expensive “auxilliary force perform this function? Just asking.
If an officer works several 16 hour days in a row who is capable of evaluating their fitness for duty? Is any medical testing done? Just asking.
Seems like there are always a lot of questions that never get answered.

John ONeill August 11, 2020 at 1:06 pm

I believe every police officer deserves every penny for their extra work…if I understand David Orr’s comments every person within 30-40 miles needs to make $200,000 to live. That is a ridiculous statement. What percentage of people living in Norwalk make $200k per year? Again, police deserve every dime for extra work, but Orr’s quote is only off by about 40-50%.

Drew A Blank August 11, 2020 at 2:33 pm

If any of Norwalk’s finest read this- have just a little self awareness when you work these side jobs and put the phone down. Sheesh. It’s ridiculous and a slap in the face to all when you aren’t even paying attention.

John Levin August 11, 2020 at 3:22 pm

Wow. There is a lot to unpack here.
1) Great reporting Nancy Chapman! Thank you.
2) I feel these more detailed numbers should be reported annually by our City, rather than just the total compensation consolidated numbers currently reported.
3) A statistic that’s missing is the number of hours that each officer works to earn these amounts – it is omitted or not available. However, this story reports sufficient information to make some estimates of those hours. 2019 ‘extra work’ compensation rate is: “Officer Hourly $66.07 – Supervisor $68.07” (it was raised 1.2% from January to July, but I shall use the July rate for the entire year). Officer Oullette earned the most money from extra work in 2019: $118,190.55. This implies approximately 1,789 hours of ‘extra work’. Assuming 50 weeks worked per year, how many hours per week of ‘extra work’, on average, does this imply? Answer: 35.8 hours per week. That seems like a lot – for 50 weeks. Bear in mind, some weeks likely will be more than that average, and some less. More than 36 hours per week of ‘extra work’, in a single week, seems like a lot.
But Officer Oullette also earned $45,176.99 from working overtime. How many hours does this represent? We can’t know for certain as the information is not provided. But here’s a estimate: Officer Ollette’s ‘regular’ compensation was $83,220.07. Assuming that covers 40 hours per week and 52 weeks per year, his implied hourly rate is: $40.00 per hour. His overtime compensation rate would be $60.00 per hour. This implies approximately 753 hours of overtime for the year, or, assuming 50 weeks working, an average of 15 hours of overtime a week.
Yikes. Assuming Officer Oullette worked 50 weeks in the year (yes, he could have worked 52 weeks, but most people have sick days, family time, or vacation or other obligations), then he worked on average, including regular, overtime, and ‘extra work’: 90 hours per week – for 50 weeks. I know very little about policing, but I struggle to understand how working an average of 90 hours per week will not negatively impact readiness, or other things in an officer’s personal life.
I understand that Officer Oullette is the highest compensated, and therefore likely the most hours working officer on the police force, but similar calculations can be made for the other 19 officers mentioned in this report, and the numbers, especially of total hours worked per week, I believe will paint a picture of some officers working very significant amounts of hours each week in addition to their regular job.
4) Police Chief Kulhawik, for whom I have great respect, should consider inviting a NancyOnNorwalk reporter to attend shift roll calls.
5) Norwalk’s citizens deserve to have confidence in the oversight and management of our city’s resources, including our city’s Police Department. Currently, oversight is the responsibility of the Police Commission. This is an appointed body of 3 members, all appointed by the Mayor. However, one of those members currently serving on the Commission is the mayor himself. Given that our mayor spent many decades of his police career serving the Norwalk Police Department, including in the role of Chief, it would seem that his serving on the Police Commission lends at least the appearance of a potential conflict of interest. I wish to urge the mayor to consider ensuring that all members of the city’s Police Commission are independent in every respect.
6) I have been told that the Police Commission is set at three members by the city’s charter. I believe that our City Council should seek to amend the charter (yeah, I know, that’s not easy) to expand the police commission to 5 members, and to allow the two additional commissioners to either be appointed by the Council itself, or to be elected by voters citywide.
7) Is this pattern of overtime and ‘extra work’ repeated at every town across Connecticut, or is Norwalk unique in some way?
Finally, I wish to add that I have no ill will toward any member of Norwalk’s Police Department or toward the department itself. To the best of my knowledge, all department members are honest, hard working, skilled professionals. I greatly respect the job they do, and I appreciate that I and my family are able to live in such a safe and secure city.

Claire Schoen August 11, 2020 at 3:49 pm

Where are the women in this list? I know we have female officers, I seem to recall seeing them kneel in support of a black lives matter rally. Are they not offered the same chance for overtime?

Ron Morris August 11, 2020 at 4:31 pm

A few thing to keep in mind
Every penny of the extra work dollars is ultimately paid for by the taxpayer. When it comes to road work the contractor figures that cost in to the bid. When it come utility work it is figured into the rate increases.

Also not sure how many are aware but the cops working at the beach are being paid time and a half. Last week we had 5 at 65.00 per hour. Last year we had one person at the gate for 10 bucks per hour. You do the math.

A few year back the city wanted to change to flagmen but the common council bowed to the police union.

As for the 15 percent administrative fee that is not profit. That goes to pay for the 2nd fleet of cars that the city provides to the cops for the luxury of making 6 figures on the backs of the taxpayer. It also has to pay for the gas in the running car so the cop can sit in the A/C and play on his phone instead of outside the car directing traffic. Repairs, insurance are also costs for the 2nd fleet of cars.
It’s time that we do away with all overtime for the police. I am sick of hearing the same lies year after year that it’s cheaper to run overtime than hire more cops. The other lie that dirt jobs are not paid by the taxpayer, as you see I disproved that above.

This needs to be made an issue when the Mayor is up for reelection. Any candidate that does not agree to do away with overtime must not be elected.
I know of no other job where the required education is a GED and you make 6 figures.

John ONeill August 11, 2020 at 7:19 pm

Claire: Reread the article. There are rules regarding who gets ot. Seniority based. Im sure if they have the seniority and want the hours, women could pick up the hours.. I think we can all agree rules are a good thing.
Slightly off topic, power came back on after 146 hours. Shower felt good…My only question: Has anyone heard from our local representative who’s on the Energy committee? I hope Chris is ok. Not sure why he would not have some comments on energy situation Norwalkers experienced over the past 7 days?

Crissy Spallone August 11, 2020 at 8:22 pm

I think its sad that this much money goes into OT and side jobs (that pose no risk) when the school system/ buildings/ books/ teachers and youth of the city are suffering so badly…this money could be much spent investing it in the future generations…the children and their education.

Cindy August 11, 2020 at 8:52 pm

I don’t think it’s wise to have police officers who should be interacting with their community in positive ways working 16 hours a day .. v easy for situations yo escalate when officers are tired, overly tired, I’ll have a reread but to earn $140k between OT and other jobs, how many hours ea week are they working? these men and women cannot be at the top of their game when they need to be.

Mitch Palais August 11, 2020 at 10:44 pm

It’s also important to understand that the costs noted are salaries and cash compensation

Add to this health care ( significantly better than offered to anyone in the private sector) retirement benefits, and a very early retirement age

Correct me if I’m wrong- Retirement pay is a function of prior salary- so all this ot gets multiplied by increased retirement benefits for decades And decades

Our nation is becoming two worlds. Those few who have government jobs- and those of us stupid not to have one.

M. Murray August 12, 2020 at 7:17 am

A little clarification for some of these comments:
1. In Norwalk, overtime and extra-work is not calculated in pensions. While some cities include overtime in their pension calculations, Norwalk bases pension amounts only on base salaries.
2. When calculation number of overtime/extra-job hours worked, remember that almost all of these officers use their days off to work overtime and extra jobs. Due to holidays, etc, most officers work a 5-2/ 5/3 schedule, meaning every other week, they have a third day off. By simply working one full shift each day off, an officer can average 20 overtime hours per rotation without ever working more than 8 hours in a day. By adding in a few doubles, the amount of hours can increase substantially without tiring an officer.
3. Yes, Eversource figures the cost of officers into their budgets and rates. They have financial divisions, planners, and a CFO. Like most, they have figured out a cost/benefit analysis of these things. They have determined that it is cheaper for then to hire an officer at that rate (when they need them) rather than hire an extra man (union scale) plus benefits including health, paid vacation, family benefits, retirement, social security, worker’s compensation, payroll tax, training, equipment, etc. for EACH CREW EVERY DAY FULL TIME when they will not be needed for traffic every day. They also realize that drivers often ignore flagmen, give them a hard time, and Eversource will be liable for whatever happens at that site as insurance companies will be more likely to battle out incidents/accidents that occur over flagman issues vs.failing to obey officer’s signal.
4. There are almost 200 sworn police officers in Norwalk. You are looking at those who are highly motivated to work many hours. If all these opportunities were to magically disappear, it is not like they would suddenly work 40 hour weeks. Many other officers, like firemen, choose to work less overtime in uniform and choose to have second and even third jobs outside the department to supplement their salaries. Some even have had other full-time jobs/careers. There have been carpenters, machine operators, pastors, business owners, diamond couriers, drivers, truckers, landscapers, etc. who have worked as many hours or more than those on this list.
5. And yes, the 15 percent more than pays for the added cost to the city in fuel and maintenance costs. Remember that the City does not buy it’s gas at the local Citgo. They have their own pumps and buy it direct, tax exempt. Next time at the pumps, take a look at the taxes an individual pays per gallon and subtract that from what the city pays. And the city is self-insured, so they don’t pay insurance on each car like an individual does. And the cars they drive are the ones that are older and removed from the regular fleet. The ones that would normally be auctioned off for a few hundred dollars each. Are there expenses involved, yes, but that fee has consistently gone up over the years to make sure the City puts a few dollars in their pocket.

John Fitzpatrick August 12, 2020 at 9:50 am

Even if the utility (and therefore the taxpayer) is footing the bill, do we really need highly trained and possibly overworked officers directing traffic around every routine work site?

Gary Leeds August 12, 2020 at 10:06 am

I appears to me that the City should look at the statistics and determine if they should hire more officers at normal pay and reduce the time and half overtime pay. This would provide more officers for emergencies and have a “longer bench”

Ron Morris August 12, 2020 at 2:59 pm

Now for the facts.
Let’s keep in mind that M Murray is a retired cops, so he did in fact profit off of dirt jobs for years.

Also these officer do not only work side jobs on days off many many work a side job before and after their shift in the same day

The utilities wanted flagmen but the police union put a big stink with propaganda and the common council caved to the union instead of the taxpayer. Companies that supply flagmen due it on an as needed so the utility company would have no the costs of benefits etc.

Another point is that flagmen provide a safer environment as they are actually directing traffic unlike the cops who are sitting in the car with AC on, windows up, playing on the phone.

In regard to the cars. Yes they do not pay tax on the fuel however they still pay for the fuel which is a huge cost. The city is self-insured up to a point then a commercial insurance policy kicks in so they do pay car insurance on each car. You say that 15 percent pays for all these costs yet you provide no evidence to back up that claim.

You say that the old cars were auctioned off. That is not true as not that many years back the cars were handed down to other departments until we started proving cars for the side jobs for the luxury of the cop making 65 plus per hour. Thus creating a saving as these departments did not need to go out and purchase new cars.

In regard to the cops having to get other jobs when the overtime and side jobs are stooped. That’s on them if they can’t figure out how to survive on the very generous salary that police get in Norwalk .

Matt August 14, 2020 at 8:09 am

I love reading all the key board warriors on here. Good officers deserve a good salary. Stop posting what officers make and start realizing what they do for the community in keep us safe. Why not post about the shootings that are taking place, the larcenies that have gotten out of control from all the juveniles coming into this town stealing and breaking in to cars. After they get arrested from the hard work our officers do….guess what people….the judicial system let’s them go time and time again. Why??? Cause the new judicial system that our politicians created is failing!!! I just read of a juvenile that was arrested 33 times for stealing and breaking into cars. 33 TIMES!!! Wasn’t until the 33rd time he was incarcerated. Let that sink in. It’s not a problem until it’s YOUR PROBLEM. But sure….let’s focus on an officer that’s trying to have a decent life and one that works 16 hour days week after week. Can we get our priorities straight here??

Ron Morris August 14, 2020 at 4:13 pm

Matt
It seems like you are a cop as no taxpayer would support a cop making a quarter million dollars per year. FYI cops do not keep us safe that’s propaganda. The cops respond after the fact. You say hard work ? Would that include sitting in the car on the phone with the AC running when they are being paid 65 plus per hour to direct traffic?

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