NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The 2018 CMA Music Festival is officially underway, and as Metro Police officers are helping keep people safe, they're also racking up a lot of overtime. However, a new fund could help pay for some of that overtime.
That fund is made up of hotel taxes, so tourists coming to town help pay for it. But it makes up just a fraction of the police department's bursting special events overtime budget.
New this year, the CMA Fest will pay the overtime for the 38 Metro Police officers within much of the CMA festival footprint. The CMA payment does not cover overtime for officers working traffic. Even so, events like CMA fest have busted the Police Department budget for special event overtime this year.
For the fiscal year that ends this month, Police have spent $5.7 million on overtime for special events, even though they're just budgeted for $4.4 million.
Police will be getting some help from the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation, offering a $150,000 grant to help with overtime expenses, all to keep Nashville's guests safe this weekend.
“When we see the police on every corner, you feel safe and that’s very important for us, that's very good,” said Josef Paukert, a visitor from Germany.
Metro Police says they've made up savings elsewhere in their budget, through police officer attrition, so they say they will not be going over their overall Metro Police budget this year.