Philly contends with higher than expected firefighter, sheriff overtime costs

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Budget director Anna Adams testifies before City Council. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Budget director Anna Adams testifies before City Council. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia is having to pay more in overtime costs than expected this budgetary year. 

The biggest budget transfer requests to City Council will go to cover overtime in the fire department and sheriff’s office.  

Training new firefighters has put a strain on the overtime budget, said budget director Anna Adams.

“There’s about 177 firefighters that were being trained in the academy that didn’t start until the end of the June, which meant they were on the payroll but not serving, not being able to fight fires or be in the EMS units,” she said. “So we had to backfill.”

Ben Haller of the sheriff’s department said the office wants to raise fees to cover rising costs, including overtime.

“If you have any business to do with the sheriff’s office, now is the time to do it because the fees are way low,” he said.

But those fees won’t be going up just yet; the city has some legal details that must be resolved first.

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