Some New Jersey Human Services police officers earned nearly $53,000 in overtime in little more than three weeks finding a place to isolate potential Ebola patients and guarding the empty hospital.
Information obtained through the Open Public Records Act shows police logged 953 hours in October and November for “emergency preparedness related to the Ebola Virus Disease.” Human Services spokeswoman says 908 hours were paid at time-and-a-half.
Most of the hours were spent guarding Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital in Lebanon Township, where potential Ebola patients were to be quarantined. Officers worked around the clock to keep out trespassers and reporters. But the site was not needed for patients.
The state planned to quarantine travelers who had come into contact with Ebola patients but were not showing symptoms of the disease. The people subject to quarantine were to be allowed to isolate themselves at home if they lived in New Jersey.
The state said its overall overtime costs have been declining in the last few years, even when the Ebola-related overtime is included.