The Ellwood City Police Officer has had a six-figure gross income since at least 2018.
Now Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court wants to dispel rumors about Lt. David Kingston’s salary.
“I have heard various rumors from individuals as to why Lt. Kingston is working overtime, but it just ignores why there is overtime,” Court said. “If they took the time to learn why, they would be informed about the factors related to overtime.”
For nearly 20 years, Kingston’s income was a hot topic in the Borough when it was revealed he was the highest paid Borough employee in 2001.
“Lt. Kingston worked pretty much all the details of the overtime when offered it,” Court said. “Just because Lieutenant Kingston is the beneficiary of officers using unscheduled leave does not mean the rumors are true.”
In 2018, Lieutenant Kingston, who has worked in the department for 36 years, earned $ 115,288.45, including $ 40,533.45 in overtime. His base salary that year was $ 74,755.
In 2019, Kingston earned $ 133,321.94, including $ 56,694.94 in overtime. His base salary that year was $ 76,627.
In the first six months of 2020, Kingston earned approximately $ 74,509.76, of which $ 33,728.76 came from overtime. His base salary this year – a leap year – is $ 81,652.
According to the borough’s finance department, the only way to determine how much money Kingston was being paid per hour would be to examine each scorecard it has submitted since 2018, as there are different hourly rates depending on the location. time of day and what the agent is. Make.
There are 144 overtime rates possible from 2018 to 2020.
He and Kingston monitor schedules every week, Court said, to try to control overtime as best they can within the constraints of the union’s collective agreement.
Kingston also receives $ 110 for each year he has spent with the ministry – also known as longevity. In 2020, he will receive an additional $ 3,960 in longevity.
Despite Kingston having the most seniority, Court said: “It has been falsely stated that all overtime goes to the senior officer. It is not factual. Many factors come into play.
Although the schedules of full-time agents are frozen, the court said, the main reason for overtime costs is due to unscheduled leaves that agents take on short notice for sickness, vacation or personal reasons.
“In a police department, you will always have overtime due to incident calls, after-hours court appearances, minimal staffing, availability of part-time officers. , uncontrolled leave and provisions of the CBA (collective agreement) which make overtime inevitable. “
The court lobbied Ellwood City Council to hire more part-time officers and fill vacant positions. A part-time officer was recently hired while awaiting hiring clearances, he said.
“It’s not easy, but we’re doing it,” he said.
Since 2010, arrests in the district have been steadily declining.
The borough made an average of 289 arrests from 2010 to 2018, while an average of 417 arrests were made between 2000 and 2009, according to the Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System (UCR).
Ellwood reported 192 arrests in 2018, the majority of which were drug-related, according to the UCR.