Officers get bonus for breathalyzer tests

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A city commissioner, who's looking for ways to save money, is scrutinizing the police force.

The eight West Palm Beach police officers, who are trained and certified in the use of the breathalyzer machine, are paid an extra $15 each time they bring a driver into the police station to give them a breathalyzer test.

The union says this extra payment is justified because officers have to go to school on their own time to learn how to operate the breathalyzer, and they deserve this extra cash.

One commissioner, however, is not convinced. "In every business, in every entity, the budget is a challenge. And there's something in every budget that we can do without," said city commissioner Molly Douglas.

The police union says eliminating the $15 payment would not save the department much money.

They say it would only save the police force about $3,100 a year, a drop in the bucket for a department with a $49 million budget.

One union official says there are other bigger ways to save money, such as eliminating 200 cell phones and the police helicopter and switching to smaller cars for sergeants and lieutenants.