A San Francisco deputy sheriff has found a way to make millions through his government work by working 100 hours a week at San Francisco City Hall.
Over the past two fiscal years, Barry Bloom, who primarily patrols the SF City Hall area, has averaged more than 100 hours a week on duty. He has worked an average of at least 95 hours a week since 2016.
The immense workload leaves Bloom only 10 hours between shifts to eat, sleep, shower and do other things outside of her job as a public safety watcher.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, in fiscal year 2022, Bloom’s base salary was $123,790 — with overtime, he earned $530,935.
Since 2016, Bloom has reportedly received more than $2.2 million in overtime — by far the most amount earned by any other city employee.
The two employees who came together have earned $1.9 million and $1.8 million respectively in overtime since 2016.
Sheriff’s Deputy Barry Bloom (left) with former San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy. Bloom has always earned hundreds of thousands of dollars more than his base salary by working overtime.
Bloom primarily works at San Francisco City Hall, where members of the sheriff’s office patrol the perimeter of the building 24/7.
Sheriff Paul Miyamoto said Bloom’s work habits are well known at City Hall and have resulted in not only massive overtime pay, but numerous awards for his services.
“He doesn’t just sign up for overtime, but he actually gets the job done,” Miyamoto said of his deputy.
Miyamoto said that over the past few months, Bloom has achieved about 28 “Narcan savings,” referring to the drug that can reverse an opioid overdose.
City Hall is located in the Civic Center area of San Francisco, a frequent place where the city’s tragically drug-addicted population gathers and where drug traffickers do business.
Bloom held several positions during his 29-year career with the sheriff’s office. Now he spends most of his time patrolling City Hall, the perimeter of which is patrolled 24 hours a day by the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office is chronically understaffed and for years has relied heavily on overtime to fill gaps in the schedule.
Several years ago, the City Comptroller’s Office found that full-time employees of the Sheriff’s Office spent an average of 20 percent of their total work time on overtime.
Most employees are required to work at least two overtime hours per week. Then-sheriff Vicki Hennessy was offered more than a dozen recommendations on how to improve the agency’s staffing practices.
The need for overtime in the sheriff’s office, according to the audit, was partly attributed to an increased workload for deputies due to policies such as bail reform, and a lack of increase in the agency’s staff budget.
San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs Association President Ken Lomba said the city is not helping itself by failing to hire for the department aggressively enough to retain as many staff as it needs. .
“There are times when deputy sheriffs are fed up with all the forced overtime, and they’re looking for work elsewhere because it’s just too much,” he told the Chronicle.
Lomba said he was particularly concerned about the understaffing in county jails.
“When (the prisons are) understaffed, it becomes extremely risky for the safety of those incarcerated and for the safety of MPs,” he said, adding: “We are only one emergency away from a trial”.
The department is currently short of 176 full-time sworn positions, 41 non-sworn positions and 24 cadets.
Sheriff Paul Miyamoto (pictured) said Bloom’s work habits are well known at City Hall and have resulted in not only huge overtime compensation but also numerous awards for his services
One of the reasons Bloom has been able to rack up so much overtime over the years is because the SF Sheriff’s Department is constantly understaffed.
A spokesperson for the sheriff responded by stating, “The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office is aggressively recruiting to fill vacancies to fill these mandatory minimums to avoid these high levels of overtime that we have experienced since the start of COVID-19. »
Miyamoto himself has acknowledged that long working days can be a problem for some of the new recruits who are not yet used to the demands of the position.
Veteran MPs, however, are used to long working hours, he said.
Despite this belief, last year the department reduced the weekly overtime requirement from three to two, and recently built a small accommodation for showering and sleeping.
It’s a known issue and a bad time for San Francisco to be understaffed in its law enforcement departments as crime and drug use in the wealthy West Coast city spiral out of control.
The city has grappled in recent years with widespread fentanyl use and fatal overdoses, and is on the verge of its deadliest year yet.
In the first five months of 2023, preliminary reports show there were 346 overdose deaths in the city, an increase of more than 40% from the same period in 2022.
Economists warn that the city is slipping into a “catastrophic urban loop” – a vicious circle of interconnected trends and forces that are plunging cities into economic and social ruin.
Mass theft has recently proven to be a problem in the area, with a downtown Walgreens store deciding to chain up its freezers to stop shoplifters.
Over the past few months, dozens of retailers have announced they will be moving out of downtown.
Retail stalwart Old Navy announced last month that it would close its flagship store in the area, becoming the latest chain to leave town.
The closure comes after retail giant Nordstrom announced the closure of all of its locations in the city.
The company said that due to the “changing dynamics” of San Francisco, it will be closing all remaining stores over the next few months.
In April, Whole Foods announced the closure of all of its sites. Anthropologie and Office Depot made the same decision.
These stores joined the growing list of retailers that have abandoned town, including H&M, Marshall’s, Gap and Banana Republic.
A recent and disturbing report showed that 95 retailers in downtown San Francisco have closed since the start of the COVID pandemic, a drop of more than 50%.
Of the 203 stores opened in the Union Square neighborhood in 2019, only 107 are still in operation, a 47% drop in just a few pandemic-ravaged years.