Of the 10 highest-paid city employees in 2011, all but one is a police officer and most of them are patrol officers.
Police Chief Christopher Cole, who is not on the top-10 list, said so many patrol officers are because they have many opportunities for overtime pay. “The bulk of the money spent on overtime is in the patrol division,” Cole said.
Most on the list also have been on the police force 20 or more years, are paid a higher hourly wage and have first choice on working overtime. Overtime is paid at time-and-one-half rate.
The city released the names Tuesday. The Daily Gazette requested the information under the state’s Freedom of Information Law in January.
The top 10:
• Bradley Birge, the city’s planning and economic development administrator, $118,470.
• Patrolman Edward Lewis, $61,305 base salary, $114,873 total salary.
• Patrolman Mark Leffler, $60,420 base, $110,226 total.
• Lt. Gregory Veitch, $76,676 base, $109,717 total.
• Patrolman Glenn Barrett, $60,056 base, $109,301 total.
• Patrolman Thomas Sartin, $60,056 base, $108,164 total.
• Lt. John Catone, $68,557 base, $107,872 total.
• Lt. Sean Briscoe, $74,551 base, $105,705 total.
• Patrolman Christopher Kuznia, $66,491 base, $103,378 total.
• Patrolwoman Eileen Cotter, $60,420 base, $102,718 total.
Cole said “We are up in hours due to long-term injuries and positions to be filled.”
There were five retirements from the police department in 2011 and already two retirements this year, he said, one of them Kuznia.
The department also had three officers attending police academy in Albany six months last year. These three officers are currently assigned to a senior patrol officer for on-the-job training and can’t be counted as a full-time city police officer until April.
The city Police Department is allotted 72 positions according to city Civil Service Commission guidelines. There are currently only 65 in the department, including officers out of work with long-term injuries and the three trainees, Cole said. “Even with 72 we are still paying overtime but it alleviates the pressure.”
Cole said he and new Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen have had discussions about the Police Department’s personnel needs. “We are trying to work with the council,” he said. “I’m not sure if we can raise our numbers.”