Ebola scare raised overtime for New Jersey police

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Some New Jersey Human Services police officers earned nearly $53,000 in overtime in little more than three weeks finding a place to isolate potential Ebola patients and guarding the empty hospital.

Information obtained by NJ.com (http://bit.ly/1zNQDHL ) through the Open Public Records Act shows police logged 953 hours in October and November for "emergency preparedness related to the Ebola Virus Disease."

Human Services spokeswoman says 908 hours were paid at time-and-a-half.

Most of the hours were spent guarding Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital in Lebanon Township, where potential Ebola patients were to be quarantined. Officers worked around the clock to keep out trespassers and reporters. But the site was not needed for patients.

The state planned to quarantine travelers who had come into contact with Ebola patients but were not showing symptoms of having the disease themselves. The people subject to the quarantine were to be allowed to do it at their homes if they lived in New Jersey.

Newark Liberty International Airport is one of five in the nation with flights from West Africa.

Nurse Kaci Hickox was quarantined at Newark's University Hospital as a precaution for three days in October after she arrived on a flight.

The Department of Human Services says its overall overtime costs have been declining in the last few years, even when the Ebola-related overtime is included.


Information from: NJ.com, http://www.nj.com

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