In March 2023, the Charleston City Council approved a $111.6 million budget for the 2024 fiscal year. Once again, the city dedicated one-fifth of its budget ($23.0 million) to uniformed Charleston Police officers for wages, benefits, pensions, insurance, and equipment. Of the $12.3 million budgeted for wages, $2.6 million was allocated for overtime pay.
Read the full report here.
High overtime spending is not new for the Charleston Police Department (CPD). Since fiscal year 2020, CPD officers have claimed $9.1 million in overtime wages. Each year, officers have logged thousands more hours of overtime than the previous year. In fiscal year 2023, officers claimed a total of 78,004 additional work hours.
In fiscal year 2024, Charleston lawmakers allocated more general fund revenue to police overtime than to economic and community development efforts or the public library. In fact, the police overtime allocation was more than the allotments to the Coordinated Addiction Response Effort (CARE) Office, the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development, the public library, the public art office and projects, and all city festivals combined.
This moment offers the public a chance to ask questions about the cost, size, and oversight practices of the city’s largest agency.
Sara’s full report can be found here.
 “Municipal Budget July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024,” City of Charleston, 6, available here: https://wvpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/City-of-Charleston-Budget-FY-2024.pdf.
 City of Charleston, “Fiscal Year 2024 Budget,” 119-121 (Note: an additional $1.5 million is allocated to civilian police personnel).
 City of Charleston, “Fiscal Year 2024 Budget,” 120.
 WVCBP analysis of Charleston Police wages for fiscal years 2020 through 2023, available here: “City of Charleston Police Uniform Fiscal Year 2020 Wages,” https://wvpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/police_wages_by-fy20.pdf; “City of Charleston Police Uniform Fiscal Year 2021 Wages,” https://wvpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/police_wages_by-fy21.pdf; “City of Charleston Police Uniform Fiscal Year 2022 Wages,” https://wvpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/police_wages_by-fy22.pdf; “City of Charleston Police Uniform Fiscal Year 2023 Wages,” https://wvpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/police_wages_by-fy23.pdf.
 City of Charleston, “CPD Wages in Fiscal Year 2023.”
We have a great newsletter, join below: