Officers in the Saline Police Department will continue working 12-hour shifts.
Saline City Council unanimously approved a motion to extend an agreement with the two SPD unions to keep the 12-hour shifts going until March 10, 2014. The first letter of understanding with the Saline Police Officers’ Association and Saline Sergeants’ Association was set to expire Sept. 9. Both unions have already signed on to extend the agreement, Police Chief Larry Hrinik told council.
The motion was moved by Councilor David Rhoads and seconded by Jim Roth.
Officers moved from eight-hour to 12-hour shifts in March of 2012 to reduce overtime and part-time hours and allow officers more full days away from work. All was going to plan until two officers retired and another left the department for another job, leaving the department short staffed and requiring overtime.
Council member Dean Girbach asked if extending the agreement will increase costs associated with overtime. Hrinik said the 12-hour shifts will not add to overtime costs.
““It doesn’t matter whether we go eight or 12, it will affect us exactly the same,” Hrinik said.
An extra six months will give the department more time to determine if the 12-hour shifts are a good fit for the Saline Police Department, Hrinik said.
“It will give us a better look than the six months we had originally. Assuming this goes well for the next six months as well, I would probably come to you and extend this until the end of the contract,” Hrinik told council.
The 12-hour shifts mean that the SPD’s DARE officer Dave Ringe is spending more time on road patrol. Hrinik said the Saline Police Department has agreed to pay for some of the DARE officer’s wages while he’s working in the schools.