Local News

State Highway Patrol Wants Paid Overtime Instead Of Comp Time

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RALEIGH — Governor Hunt unveiled a new budget plan Wednesday that could change the way theState Highway Patrolgets paid. Instead of trading time off for extra work, the governor wants to pay troopers overtime to keep them on the road.

When an accident happens at the end of their shift, state troopers cannot just punch off the clock and head home. Overtime is part of the job.

Sgt. Jeff Winstead says the public loses because every time a trooper works an extra hour, the state requires that troopers get comp time off the road.

"Last year, the services lost were the rough equivalent of 50 full-time state troopers lost to overtime," Winstead says.

Based on a 40-hour work week in 1999, the Highway Patrol gave more than 104,666 hours of comp time to its troopers.

To keep troopers like Kevin Horne behind the wheel, the Highway Patrol is asking the legislature to approve paid overtime.

"I think it's a good thing," Horne says. "Instead of me taking that time at home, I'm back on the road where I can do my job."

The Highway Patrol is asking for about $1.5 million to get the program started.

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Todd Hauer, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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