4/23/2006 Houston -- Police officers in Houston, Texas are earning massive salaries by arresting individuals for drunk driving. As part of a Driving While Intoxicated Task Force, Officer William Lindsey, Jr. earned $172,576 last year -- $7,000 more than the city's mayor, Bill White. Sergeant Edward Robinson made $161,722.
The task force uses state and federal money to pay overtime for operations intended to curb drunk driving. Officers earn one-and-a-half times the normal salary to attend court proceedings or work patrols and roadblocks on days off or long shifts. Lindsey's overtime amounted to $100,000 and Robinson's to $76,055 in 2005. The Houston Chronicle calculated the average salary of the eight task force members at $103,000
In general, task force officers work late at night, from 9pm to 7am from Wednesday through Saturday. For each arrest, they must make a court appearance where they earn the extra pay. At times, three or four Houston officers will testify during a single drunk driving trial. The state police general practice is to send just one officer to a trial.
(Source: HPD officer's pay tops $172,000. Houston Chronicle, 4/23/2006)