NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — Dispatchers for the New Bedford Police Department are facing consequences following a payroll fraud investigation.

In the summer of 2023, the New Bedford Police Department opened an investigation into allegations that the department's dispatchers submitted unauthorized overtime slips.

An outside independent investigator hired by the department conducted numerous witness interviews and reviewed overtime and other records.

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The investigation revealed that between 2020 and 2023, 15 dispatchers overbilled for overtime payments ranging from $144.75 to $2,207.29, totaling $10,975.44.

The department said it is disciplining 12 dispatchers to various degrees proportionate to their involvement, ranging from suspension to termination.

According to Police Chief Paul Oliveira, three dispatchers are no longer employed by the department. The department is seeking full restitution from those involved.

"I'm disappointed in the actions of these individuals as they failed to uphold the standards of professionalism we expect from employees," Oliveira said. "We are disclosing the department's actions in this matter so that the public can have confidence the department is prepared to uphold those standards."

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