Audit: SPD struggling to recover staffing costs from officers working special events

A new audit reveals Seattle taxpayers are footing much of the bill to cover police officers working special events.

SEATTLE — An audit shows when it comes to paying overtime for Seattle police to work special events in the city, taxpayers often foot most of the bill.

The 127-page report will be presented before the Seattle City Council Wednesday.

According to the city's auditor, SPD is struggling to recover its staffing costs when officers are assigned to special events.

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The audit focuses on 724 special events in the city in 2016.

The officers were paid $10.3 million in wages to cover these events, but so far, organizers have been billed only about 30 percent of the hours worked.

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And not every event is required to reimburse that money, including one under the category free speech, where officers made more than $1 million in 2016.

As of January of this year, SPD is still negotiating with a number of events to get their police fees from events two years ago.

The city’s auditor will lay out 19 recommendations for SPD Wednesday, including better planning in event staffing and the way they track costs.