‘It’s under investigation’ | Few public details disclosed about JPD officer who made $140K from record overtime last year

Timesheets obtained exclusively by WLBT showed Officer Torrence Mayfield claimed he worked 363 days in 2021
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 8:54 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Two weeks after a 3 On Your Side investigation revealed a Jackson police officer claiming to work an almost superhuman number of overtime hours, city officials remain tight-lipped about what they’re doing about it.

Timesheets obtained exclusively by WLBT show that officer, Torrence Mayfield, racked in more than 4,500 hours of overtime last year, making more than $140,000 on a patrolman’s salary.

Those timesheets show Mayfield said he worked 363 days last year, all but two days the entire year.

During a public safety committee meeting Monday, Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote asked JPD leadership about the status of any investigation into that officer and whether any money has been recovered that the city paid out that it shouldn’t have.

Assistant Jackson Police Chief Joseph Wade, who had answered most of the council committee’s questions that day, deferred to city attorney Catoria Martin to answer Foote’s inquiry.

“It’s still under investigation, but if the council wants to go into executive session, we can — it’s a personnel matter,” Martin said. “If you want to go into executive session, we can provide additional details. But outside of executive session, it’s just still under investigation.”

Foote pushed further.

“Who is doing the investigation, internal or JPD?”

Martin said there was an internal and external investigation ongoing.

Foote questioned the meaning of ‘external’ investigation.

“So that’s the state auditor?” Foote asked.

Ward 6 Councilman Aaron Banks interrupted the exchange before Martin could respond, saying the information being discussed was pertinent but reminding the room that the meeting had already gone on for nearly an hour and they had another meeting coming up soon.

The council committee did not go into executive session.

Before Foote’s question, Banks had asked Wade about the city’s timekeeping system — KRONOS — and whether they had any measures put in place to alert someone if an employee goes over a certain amount of overtime.

“No, but it’s something that would be great if that was put into the KRONOS system,” Wade said. “With reviewing it and also documenting, you can put a note whenever overtime was approved, making sure commanders and sergeants or whomever is the timekeeper for that particular area, that they’re noting all overtime because it must be approved.”

The city’s chief financial officer, Fidelis Malembeka, told the committee that those features are available in the system, and said his department has put in extra effort to track and communicate that information, though it’s not clear when that process began.

“The leadership in the police department gets a little more complex because you get sergeants, lieutenants, commanders. They all have to deal with some range of accountability,” Banks said. “I think, to make sure that we safeguard from any other future violations that we find a way to implement that as soon as possible.”

It’s unclear who approved Mayfield’s overtime.

As WLBT originally reported last month, JPD’s general orders state anything more than 20 hours of overtime in a pay period must have prior approval of the police chief or assistant chief.

Every one of Mayfield’s pay periods last year had far more than 20 hours of overtime.

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