Report: Sheriff Reduces Overtime Use by Nearly 40 Percent

September 18, 2012
Supervisor Scott McDonell, Chair Dane County Board of Supervisors (279-6984)
County Board


MADISON -- Better management of staff resources under Sheriff Dave Mahoney has led to a 37.6 percent decrease in County-funded overtime expenditures in the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, from $3.3 million in 2007 to less than $2.1 million in 2011, according to an audit commissioned by the Dane County Board of Supervisors. Overall overtime expenditures, including those funded by grants and reimbursements, have fallen 18.2 percent. Sheriff Mahoney was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.


“I commend Sheriff Mahoney and his staff for their diligence and good management,” said Supervisor McDonell, Chair of the County Board. “We have to make sure our law enforcement officers have all the resources they need to keep us safe and get their job done. It’s obviously a huge win when we can trim spending without compromising service levels.”


The audit, conducted by management consulting firm Berkshire Advisors out of Bay Village, Ohio, credited a number of management changes, including several related to management of vacancies, for the dramatic reduction in overtime use. The Sheriff’s Office:

  • Implemented changes for the use of and the replacement coverage for sick time, as well as planning staff vacations so that less overtime is required to cover for absent employees;
  • Restructured time used for training;
  • Enhanced policies to control overtime expenditures for events that overlap shifts; and
  • Call on investigators after hours only when absolutely necessary.


“Public safety is my top priority,” said Sheriff Mahoney. “Frankly, the public is safer when deputies are not overworked. In addition, we have to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Managing our office more intelligently and efficiently has allowed us to save money without compromising public safety. I look forward to exploring the recommendations to improve even further.”


The audit, produced at a cost of $34,000, also contains a number of recommendations to further decrease expenditures on overtime. The full report and recommendations will be formally presented at a joint meeting of the County Board's Executive Committee and Public Protection and Judiciary Committee at a September 20 meeting. The report can be downloaded from the County Board website:'s_Office_Overtime_Report2012_.pdf.


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