Monday, December 7, 2009

Football season wrap-up

Nebraska’s regular season ended Saturday, but for the police department, the Kansas State game on November 21 was the end of our football season—the final home game of 2009. Sgt. Shannon Karl handles the details, and she provided me with the end-of-season wrap-up on the costs. The total cost for overtime was $35,033, an average of $5,005 per game in the season of seven home games.

Over the past several years, we have worked hard to drive those costs down. The City’s budget is tight, and we have tried to reduce these expenses without creating chaos. It has worked. Here’s the run down on the overtime cost per game for the past eight seasons:

2002 = $11,592

2003 = $10,816

2004 = $10,452

2005 = $10,600

2006 = $8,700

2007 = $5,402

2008 = $5,419

2009 = $5,005

The actual dollar amount per game has decreased by 57% during this time period. Base salary during this time period has increased slightly over 22%. Adjusting for the increase in the base, the 2009 cost amounts to a reduction of 65% in overtime expenses per game.

I think we must acknowledge how the new roadways developed as part of the Antelope Valley project have helped move a ton of traffic quite efficiently, but good planning and supervision of the detail has been critical to achieving these results. Sgt. Karl, Sgt. Arp, Capt. Davidsaver, Capt. Citta, and Capt. Kawamoto have managed LPD’s football detail at various times in the past decade, and I appreciate their work and that of all the officers with traffic assignments. I think they’ve done a great job.


Anonymous said...

Outback Bowl. At Tampa, Fla. Payout: $3.2 million.
Cost for police protection:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I think that with the TV revenue from broadcast, cable, or PPV for these games, UNL should pick up the entire check for LE/Fire OT. We won't even mention the extortion revenue, er, I mean buying "priority points" to keep getting those prime-section season tickets coming.

Grundle King said...

@ Anon 7:46

In a way, the University already does pick up the bill. Think about the tax revenue brought to this city by a single Husker game...I guarantee it's a lot more than $5,000. That tax revenue goes into the city budget, which helps fund the Lincoln Police Department.

I agree that the University can certainly afford to pay the bill, but I also believe that LPD and LFR would not exist in their current capacity were it not for UNL.

Anonymous said...

UNL? How true. The fair moved for UNL.
The UNL motto should be:

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Grundle King, UNL cannot afford to pay the bill and is struggling with finances just like every other corporation, business, etc that runs off money.

Chief what is an officers main job during the football season that they get paid 5000 per game? I know it is for overtime but what do they do specifically...just traffic enforcement? Are their officers that get paid overtime but have a different objective during the games?

Tom Casady said...


I hope you understand that the per game cost is the total overtime for all employees--certainly not for an individual employee!!

Almost all of our cost is for traffic direction. Were it not for traffic, we'd only have a handful of officers involved--perhaps some off-duty-for-overtime extra patrol and on-view enforcement in City-owned parking lots and the North Bottoms, but not much more.

Anonymous said...

And oh yes, GO BIG RED!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Wow. Thank you SO much for thinking of the cost to the tax payer! I hope people appreciate the work that you guys have done with both being able to do your job AND saving money! I hope LJS publishes this so people can see LPD is not about "wasting tax payers money". Maybe other city and government agencies can look at this and try to save as well!


Anonymous said...

The University should pay for this, but wait.... then they would go crying to the legislature for more money.

If that University had to operate like a business (Instead of the tax $$$ drain that it is), they would be closed.

Every Officer should be paid triple normal salary for having to deal with those people around the husker games.

Anonymous said...

^%#*&$#ing &^#$%tball!

Anonymous said...

10:15, if Universities were run like business they would all be closed. There are Universities that are run like business, they are private insitutions and their tuitions reflect that fact.

Anonymous said...

Seems that management is patting themselves on the back for lowering the OT budget for football. It seems simple to lower the budget when you just don't use off duty officers who want to work it and in place take officers off the street to work traffic bringing teams down to minimum and below. Trading $ for safety. What's next doing reports in cruisers.

Tom Casady said...


Come on, now. In an emergency (and it wouldn't take much) every single officer on the football detail would drop what they are doing, and back you up. It's happened before. There would actually be more officers available, due to the off-duty personnel working.

There is a reason LPD was the only City agency that wasn't cut--and in fact added personnel--during the worst budget cycle in memory: it's because we have shown that we don't waste funds, we spend them wisely, and dollars invested in LPD are put to effective use.

The reason the cost of football overtime has fallen is because we are covering far fewer intersections than in years past. We used to staff 9th/10th at M, N, L; 11th, 12th, 13th and O; a whole line of intersections along N. 14th, 8th & R, 8th & S, 17th and Court, 27th and Holdrege, 11th & Cornhusker; Vine at 14th, 16th, and 17th, and even more. There were nearly 100 LPD stadium assignments at one time. This has gradually been reduced over the years, and we've cut down drastically on the number of officers involved in the detail with little or no impact on the traffic flow.

Anonymous said...

Star Tran offers a round trip on a bus from SCC, Northstar, South Point and others for $8.00 and drop you off right in front of the stadium. This year I started taking advantage of the Star Tran bus to and from the game. It seems a lot of people do too. Have you talked to anyone at Star Tran to see if use of the service has increased over the years?