The Albuquerque Police Department must improve its ability to collect and analyze overtime data associated with DWI cases. By capturing data, APD will be able to quantify and substantiate the impacts that external factors and inefficiencies, such as Metro Court scheduling, have on the Department. This data is an important element that will provide valuable information through which the department can manage overtime and affect change, such as reducing the number of DWI cases dismissed for officer FTA, and decreasing DWI overtime court costs.
Overtime associated with law enforcement and court-related activities is a reality of any law enforcement agency. Overtime associated with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) activity is an essential component for the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) in providing quality law enforcement services to the citizens of Albuquerque. APD’s mission, in partnership with the community, is to engage in proactive policing to maintain order, reduce crime and the fear of crime through education, prevention and enforcement. This audit addressed grant funded DWI overtime and DWI court related overtime. However, the audit did not reveal deficiencies associated with grant funded overtime.
APD is unable to effectively manage court overtime. The Department does not have the ability to collect, analyze or quantify the impacts that external factors have on DWI overtime. Average court costs for DWI cases cannot be determined. Over the 18-month audit period, APD’s Metro court overtime totaled $1.9 million. Metro Court overtime is a general payroll category that involves various court activities including DWI, domestic violence, as well as traffic cases.
There are variables outside the Department’s control that also affect DWI overtime. Metro Court schedules DWI cases; however, the scheduling methodology impacts the officers’ ability to attend all court appearances as cases often overlap. Officers are often scheduled to appear in multiple courtrooms for multiple cases simultaneously which may result in case dismissal due to officer failure to appear. Cooperation between Metro Court and APD pertaining to the scheduling process is vital to ensure successful court appearances by officers.
Court related overtime slips do not include data required by APD Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 1-11-2; some overtime slips had multiple issues. Out of a sample of 24 court overtime slips, the following discrepancies were noted:
- Twenty overtime slips were missing the Metro Court Liaison initials or timestamps.
- Six overtime slips were missing the disposition of the case.
- Two overtime slips could not be located.
- The Metro Court Liaison time/date stamp on two court overtime slips did not match the time/date recorded by the officer on the court overtime slip.
APD does not independently track officer attendance for DWI cases. From a sample of 24 DWI cases, 14 were disposed, 8 were on-going, and 2 were transferred. Of the disposed cases, 36 percent (5 cases/14 cases) were dismissed or dropped because the officer did not appear.