Opioid effect: Middletown police OT fund runs out of money, gets $30K more

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Opioid effect: Middletown police OT fund runs out of money, gets $30K more

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The Middletown City Council approved additional money for police overtime as a result of the continuing regional opioid and overdose crisis. MIKE RUTLEDGE/STAFF

The region’s opioid crisis prompted Middletown City Council on Tuesday to approve a request from the Division of Police for an additional $30,000 to cover overtime costs for investigators.

The criminal investigative unit overtime fund was budgeted at $92,424 for 2017. However, the increase in crime has necessitated an increasing the number of detectives from four to eight to combat the opioid crisis, according to Lt. Jimmy Cunningham in a July 4 memo to Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw.

So far in 2017, Middletown police detectives have investigated seven homicides, he said.

The year also has included numerous major drug cases that require a substantial amount of investigative and court work, thus further depleting the criminal investigation unit’s overtime fund, he said.

Cunningham said the overtime fund for the investigators would have been depleted this month without the increase.

He said if the additional funding was not approved, it would have prevent a detective from being called out past their normal 40-hour work week to handle major cases that arise.

“We anticipate mid-year that this OT request will cover MPD for the rest of the year,” said City Manager Doug Adkins. “(The) Fire (Department) is in good shape, and no request is expected.”

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