NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The NFL Draft brought 200,000 people downtown each day, and luckily, police didn't have to deal with any major issues. But what they did have to deal with was major amounts of overtime for officers to the tune of 17,770 hours.
"Police did a phenomenal job, as did all of our emergency services personnel. Really, from an outsider prospective and from the city's perspective, it all went off without a hitch,” sais Sean McGuire, assistant finance director for Metro Nashville, adding there was plenty of overtime pay that was required.
According to police officials, the department is $490,276 over budget because of their work during the Draft.
The department has spent more than $4 million on special events overtime through the end of April, and $182,000 was spent on just the marathon on the weekend of the NFL Draft.
"As Nashville has grown, special events have grown exponentially,” Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron said in an interview in 2018. “You know, in 2006, to fund our special events budget in the police department, it was less than a million dollars, in 2006. Here in 2018, we're in excess of $4 million."
With the Draft and other events in 2019, the overtime budget is larger than ever, and they're still going over.
Luckily, according to the city, these events are paying for the overtime in a roundabout way.
"Because of the additional sales taxes that are generated and other just economic benefits that we get from the event, I think they more than cover the cost of the additional overtime, I mean, that's what we're anticipating with the NFL Draft and of course with CMA Fest coming up, that's generally the case,” McGuire explained.
As of May 10, the police department hadn't asked for any additional money to pay for their overtime costs. Instead, they're moving money around within their own budget to help pay for the overtime for these large events.
"Right now we've been able to keep up the pace, and we're just going to hope that we're going to continue to do that,” McGuire said.
The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. is also allocating $300,000 to help pay for draft costs. That includes $200,00 for police and $100,000 for fire.