Nassau County's $67.8-million police overtime budget works out to about $31,900 each for 2,121 sworn officers ["Crime-fighting, overtime," News, March 19].

Instead of paying so much in overtime, why not hire additional and lower-paid civilians for non-law enforcement tasks? Most desk duties, working in impound yards, giving safety talks at schools -- these could be handled by trained civilians.

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This one change could free up cops to do the job that they're being paid to do, while reducing the overtime burden plaguing the county government.

Ronald Gendron, Smithtown

Editor's note: The writer is retired as a SUNY police officer working in Nassau County.