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Originally published Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 12:04 AM

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Seattle Police Department gives entirely new meaning to ‘overtime’

The Wrap

Seattle Times staff columnist

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The issue isn't who commits crimes, it's about how police service is delivered. I have lived and worked around the... MORE
Ron Judd's columns are priceless. Highly entertaining, always eliciting a smile. Keep it up! MORE
@user838220 It is pretty clear that the one who commited the crime is the one who claimed 31.5 hours in a 24 hour day.... MORE


Sure, go ahead, make fun of the Seattle Police Department.

It’s fashionable to cast aspersions on public servants, and a recent report that the department sunk $1 million into “loosely controlled” overtime last year provides plenty of ammunition for cheap shots and general mockery.

You won’t get any of that tomfoolery here. In fact, Mr. Wrap urges readers to look beyond the initial headline and appreciate the hidden genius exhibited by the Emerald City’s boys and girls in blue.

What other city’s cops possess the necessary creative genius to file for, and receive, 31.5 hours of overtime pay for protecting and serving the public in a single, 24-hour period?

Most American metropolitan cops bumble through old-school, 24-hour shifts trying to meet ticket quotas; ours have altered the space/time continuum in their spare time.

More doughnut-hole quantum physics:

Glass-Half-Empty Downside: The Seattle Police Department’s invention of the 31.5-hour workday means a 30-year prison sentence can be wrapped up by industrious inmates in 24 years, with parole eligibility in a week and a half.

Speaking of Incompetence: It’s a high bar, but a new level of local political dunderheadedness may well have been established by the vote-for-this-Metro-Transit-tax-increase-or-we’ll-take-away-your-buses-forever-oh-wait-never-mind transportation-finance strategy repeatedly championed by King County Executive Dow Constantwrong.

Meanwhile, Down at the Seawall:Concerned about costs, Hizonner Ed Murray says Seattle should scale back its pie-in-the-sky waterfront-redevelopment plan, eliminating luxuries such as a heated swimming-pool barge. Wait: does this mean the Mike McGinn Memorial Bicycle-only Ferry Terminal is also on the chopping block?

Other (Sadly) Scuttled Waterfront-Village Features: Visiting Tourist Walk-the-Plank Hypothermia Adventure Center. Ivar’s Acres of Red Tide. Woodland Park Zoo Wild Orca Solitary Confinement Tank. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey City Council Meeting Tent. Chris Hansen Center for Advanced Corporate Welfare Studies.

This Just In: In the wake of the iPhone 6 bending brouhaha, Samsung has revealed that its mobile phones are repeatedly stress-tested by a robotic butt. All sorts of second-act career implications here for Alex Rodriguez.

Leading From Way, Way Behind:If only President Obama had listened to his foreign-affairs genius/former defense secretary’s advice on Iraq, the current ugly, sectarian quagmire could have been avoided. So says foreign-affairs genius/former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in his upcoming biography, “Told You So: Imagining the Better World We’d All Live In If CERTAIN PEOPLE Would Have Listened to Leon Panetta.”

For the Record: Panetta’s surprisingly balanced account of his own super-genius is Volume 2,333 in the Time/Life Self-Important Retired Political Hack Revisionary History Series.

CIA Fingerprints All Over This: Toyota is recalling almost 700,000 four-wheel-drive pickups because the rear leaf springs supposedly could break, puncture the gas line, and cause a fire. Finally, someone figured out a way to stop the advance of Islamist militias with the stroke of a pen.

And Finally:The week’s Mr. Wrap Spark of Genius Award goes to Nancy Armour, sports columnist for USA Today, who suggests that, given October’s dual status as the official month to raise awareness of breast cancer and domestic violence, the NFL should festoon its players in pink and purple.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at or 206-464-8280.

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