Rotterdam follows trend as police top town earners list

Closeup of Rotterdam police car
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ROTTERDAM — A shortage of officers last year led to increased overtime pay for Rotterdam police, with one sergeant earning more than $84,000 in extra pay. 

A list of the town’s top-10 earners, obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request, is made up entirely of members of the Rotterdam Police Department, which officials said was necessitated by a shortage of police officers that has since been addressed.

Sgt. Daniel Ryan was the town’s top-earner, bringing home a gross salary of $208,767, or $99,383 more than his base salary of $109,383, according to records. Ryan earned $84,552 in overtime pay and brought home over $14,000 in holiday and compensatory pay.

Chief Michael Brown was the town’s second-highest earner, with a gross salary of $162,535. Sgt. Derek Reilly was third on the list, grossing $154,471 in total pay, including $40,319 in overtime and more than $7,000 in other compensation, according to records.

Brown said the department was short eight officers for most of the year. There were four vacancies, one officer out on military leave and three others were were absent for extended medical leave, including two at the same time during the summer months, which is typically the busiest time for the department, the chief said.

“That kind of really affected the amount of overtime there was,” Brown said.

The vacancies have since been filled and the officers have returned from medical leave, Brown said. One officer is still out on military leave, but the department has already seen a dip in overtime hours this year compared to last, Brown said.

Municipalities throughout the region saw similar trends last year, including those throughout Schenectady County.

Schenectady, Glenville and Scotia all paid out thousands in overtime to emergency workers in 2022, which officials there attributed to vacancies within their respected police departments and a need to maintain 24-hour services. Elsewhere, the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office saw several officers more than double their base salary in overtime pay.

Brown said the department has policies in place to ensure that the same officer isn’t absorbing all available overtime, but noted the department was forced to assign extra shifts due to the officer shortage.

Ordinarily, officers with the most seniority get the first opportunity to work an extra shift, Brown said.

“Once that one officer works that eight-hour shift of overtime, they’re not asked again until every other officer in the department is asked first,” he said.

Supervisor Mollie Collins said she understands how the high overtime spending could be concerning, but also noted that the department has since filled the vacancies and is expecting there will be less need for officers to work extra shifts moving forward.

“Anytime you see $84,000 in overtime, that’s a big number, especially by Rotterdam standards,” she said. “But if we were understaffed and needed to make sure we have people patrol our neighborhoods and keepings them safe, then you have to do what you have to do to keep the neighborhoods safe.”

Here is a list of the town of Rotterdam’s highest-paid employees for the year 2022:

  • Sgt. Daniel Ryan: $208,767.55 (+$99,383.73) | Base salary: $109,383.82
  • Police Chief Michael Brown: $162,535.32 (+$12,754) | $149,781.32
  • Sgt. Derek Reilly: $154,471.47 (+$48,265.17) | $106,206.30
  • Patrolman Stephen Dixon: $153,244.15 (+$61,995.24) | $91,248.91
  • Deputy Police Chief William Male: $138,976.09 (+$8,158.37) | $130,817.72
  • Investigator Michelle Crandall: $138,861.09 (+$40,951.39) | $97,909.70
  • Patrolman Michael Rumbaugh: $137,614.79 (+$44,158.07) | $93,456.72
  • Lt. Jeffrey Collins earned $137,530.16 (+$18,438.39) | $119,091.77
  • Lt. Patrick Farry earned $130,084.15 (+$18,166.85) | $111,917.30
  • Lt. Kyle Girard earned $126,658.48 (+$12,294.22) | $114,364.26

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.

Categories: News, News, Rotterdam, Schenectady County

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