By Fran Spielman
The Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Department can no longer cite manpower shortages to deny requests from rank-and-file officers who want to use compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay, a federal judge has ruled.
In a decision that threatens to exacerbate the city's budget crunch, U.S. District Judge Sidney Schenkier said the Fair Labor Standards Act requires the city to grant comp time requests made with sufficient notice, even if it means calling other officers in on their days off to fill the void.
"We do not presume to tell the city how many police personnel it must hire or how to balance . . . budgetary and public safety concerns," Schenkier wrote in the ruling handed down Tuesday.