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Baltimore Police Turns to Biometrics for Overtime Management

February 19, 2018

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The city of Baltimore’s police department has announced plans to start using biometrics to manage the start and end of shifts. The decision has come after it’s been revealed some police officers were committing rampant overtime fraud.


Taking control of overtime

Gun task officers in an ongoing federal trial have admitted to excessive overtime fraud. The pair were claiming overtime pay while actually on vacation or even gambling at a local casino. It’s an extreme example but shows why it’s important for there to be a reliable and secure system of managing overtime.

What the incident has also shone a light on in the Baltimore police department, is a further culture of overtime being used as an internal currency within certain districts as a form of motivation. That’s been described by the Baltimore Sun as an open secret, but the costs overtime is causing the city needs addressing. Millions of dollars a week are being spent on overtime. Last year, $16 million was budgeted for overtime but the city spent $44.9 million.

Why a biometric system?

The department has started the process of implementing a biometric system to replace its current paper system. With a biometric system, there is no hoodwinking it. Only you, and no-one else, can register your arrival and departure from your shift when biometrics are used. T.J smith, a spokesman for the department said it wasn’t about not trusting officers, but ‘instilling a trust in the community’. He said:

“Let’s not sugar-coat this: Criminals found a gap in the system and took full advantage of it. That’s not fair to the city, and it’s not fair to the men and women in this agency who do their job honourably every day.”

Going beyond overtime

Here at BioStore, we agree, biometrics are a good tool for organisations to ensure they are getting their money’s worth and not being tricked by rouge employees. But we also know, a well implemented biometric system, doesn’t just benefit employers – but is also in the interest of employees. For a start, employees can ensure they are not underpaid for the amount of work they put in when shift times are securely recorded.

If biometrics are implemented for more than just work attendance, but also act as employee’s security clearance around the workplace, the way they log into computers, authenticate a cashless payment and more, then they add a huge practical benefit to an employee’s work day. Used right, they don’t just secure police payroll, they make the work day super-convenient and simple.

Related links:

The Baltimore Sun: Baltimore Police to use fingerprint scanning to track officers’ time at work after years of abuse

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