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Local News

September 9, 2013

Oneonta's Police Department's 12-hour experiment to begin

(Continued)

Since at least 2008, the union has suggested switching to 10- or 12-hour shifts, Berger said, and with the PBA contract expiring at the end of the year, now is a good time to test a change.

Ten-hour shifts were considered but wouldn’t work with the staffing and needs of the department, Berger and Nayor said.

Officers aren’t allowed to work more than 16 hours, Berger said.

FATIGUE FACTOR

Brenner said the department and officers are aware about possible fatigue after working for eight hours, in both instances of working double eight-hour shifts and 12-hour shifts. The question will be evaluated, he said.

Brenner said a general cycle reflects that the department is busiest between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. and during rush hours at the start and end of the business day.

State police have worked 12-hour shifts since 2003, officials said, and previously, troopers worked eight-hour shifts.

“You get used to working a longer shift,” Trooper Nathan Riegal, public information officer with Troop C in Sidney, said.

The shifts are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. or from noon to midnight, Riegal, said. The work schedule starts Monday and is two days on, two days off, then three days on, he said, and the schedule reverses the next week.

The health and safety of troopers and providing adequate coverage around-the-clock are among many factors considered when scheduling, Darcy Wells, director of public information for state police, said.

BUDGET

Nayor said he will assess the impact of the 12-hour shift on factors including budgeting and overtime.

The Oneonta Police Department Budget in 2013 was $3,169,710, of which $180,000, or 5.68 percent, is earmarked for overtime, Nayor said. The department’s 2012 budget was $3,322,981, including $198,000, or 5.96 percent, for overtime.

Nayor said he and other department heads are preparing 2014 budget requests that are smaller. The Common Council is in early stages of developing next year’s budget.

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