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Double Dipping

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When it comes to their income, a number of top local cops around Utah have a good thing going. Too good, in KSL's view, primarily because of the way their perk is structured and what it is costing taxpayers.

Here's the deal as reported recently by KSL's investigative team.

"After 20 years in law enforcement, a police chief or sheriff can retire one day and come back to work the very next day to the very same job and same pay." Only upon their so-called "return" they are getting a pension check in addition to their salary, plus fully funded contributions to a 401K account.

Because of this double dipping, which, by the way, is fully legal, retired and instantly rehired police chiefs in municipalities like Murray, South Jordan, Orem and Provo are making over $200 thousand a year.

Perhaps they're worth it. That's not for us to judge. But as a legislative audit of post-retirement re-employment practices in Utah concluded in 2006, "the practice of allowing return to work within the system is costly and ‘particularly susceptible to abuse.'"

In these tight budget times, KSL believes Utah lawmakers ought to take another look at this tolerated practice that seems ripe for abuse and is costing taxpayers a bundle.

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