Eleven police officers received thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits while working for their department in the Atlanta metropolitan area, an investigation released Wednesday showed.
The officers, who work for the Douglasville Police Department, received unemployment benefits for their part-time jobs that closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, a WSB-TV investigation found. Six of the eleven officers spent the money.
The officers, who worked at either a local department store or gym, received anywhere from $12,000 to $17,000 in benefits after the businesses closed in March, WSB-TV reported. (RELATED: ‘Broken System’: Police Chief Criticizes Mental Health System For Deadly Police Shooting)
“You’re getting paid by the government two times, that’s double-dipping,” retired law enforcement investigator Randy Rider told WSB-TV. “It kills me. It hurts me. We all violate policies and procedures from time to time, but we don’t violate the law.”
Double-dipping or mistake? Investigation finds law enforcement officers got unemployment while still working https://t.co/lRFMMjXfvd
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) November 11, 2020
The local news station found that only one deputy didn’t spend any of the money received. Sgt. Traci Sullivan told WSB-TV she reached out to the state after receiving the benefits despite working for the department. (RELATED: Baltimore County PD And DOJ Reach $2 Million Settlement Following Racial Discrimination Lawsuit)
The Douglasville Police Department told the station they will not investigate the matter and that the officers will not be criminally charged. The officers have to refund the government the money they received.