Friday, September 14, 2012

Creative Scheduling Is Another Part Of Efficient Policing

I thought this piece over at the Saint Louis Post Dispatch was interesting. The story looked at changes in scheduling for Saint Louis County Police to reduce overtime and make their workdays more efficient.

It's part of a strategy being adopted by police nationwide, and early reports are the staggered shifts can help reduce crime and response times for larger departments, said county Police Chief Tim Fitch. After two years of 10-hour shifts in Accardi's precinct, crime has dropped by 13 percent, although Fitch acknowledges other factors may be helping.

The lean economic times has nearly every department looking for ways to reduce the costs of policing without sacrificing public safety. Changes to scheduling such as staggered scheduling can help lower overtime costs for an agency and save precious budget dollars.

At the sleepy little burg where I worked I did a study that looked at peak days for Calls For Service. We found at our agency that Thursdays were very often the busiest days of the week. Because of this, when it came time to determine days off, my agency fields the most officers on days that Calls For Service volume is traditionally the highest.

Has your agency looked to creative scheduling practices to help minimize overtime costs while keeping your community safe?

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