"Shift staffing around here is like the AIDS quilt... [Archive] - Glock Talk


View Full Version : "Shift staffing around here is like the AIDS quilt...

10-27-2012, 22:58
...depressing and held together with threads."

Said by a Sgt. last week at roll call when we were starting a shift at half strength.

Rex G
10-28-2012, 00:17
We were worse than half-strength a couple of nights this past week, at 2200 roll call. The 2300 roll call made it better, but each of those nights, there were beats with no units at all, for the entire night, when "minimal staffing" is considered two units per beat. While enough of us are tough veteran officers, able to police smart, and not get in over our heads, there is always the worry that what looks relatively safe will end up becoming a cluster. We can usually take care of each other, but what about the folks living in our patrol districts? I would hate to be a disabled, defenseless person living in the jurisdiction in which I patrol.

CW Mock
10-28-2012, 01:32
We have been at 50% every shift for years now. It's gone from annoying, to dangerous, to depressing to a damn dangerous depression. Never seen things so awful.

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10-28-2012, 05:49
Y'all's agency doesn't pay OT to meet shift strength requirements?

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10-28-2012, 06:02
thats part of our problem.....half the man power to do the job but expected to do he job just the same.....

10-28-2012, 06:03
Morning Butcher :wavey: Seems like this issue probably really affects those PD's with no union contract or a city that cries broke. On my PD there are minimums that must be met. This is achieved first through voluntary bidding, then if they can't get the bodies, by forced call ins or holding guys over.

10-28-2012, 06:04
Y'all's agency doesn't pay OT to meet shift strength requirements?

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we work 12 hour shifts as it is...days off are a premium when they get pulled by forced O/T due to inadequate man power.

10-28-2012, 06:06
I'm on 12's too. We can be forced to work an extra 6 hrs. if the slots aren't filled. But I'm lucky, I'm on a larger PD and there's always several guys more than happy to suck up the OT.

Sam Spade
10-28-2012, 06:11
Pshaw. We achieved full staffing; you can, too.

Have the command staff and their political masters gather. Brief on desired coverage. Brief on current numbers employed. Set "current number" equal to "desired coverage". *Poof!* You're at 100%.

10-28-2012, 06:26
Command and detective staff actually having to work a beat once in a while would help with staffing issues, but then, that would mean putting the safety of the road guys over the comfort of the office staff. Can't have that now, can we?

10-28-2012, 07:42
They just pull people from another area when one patrol area is understaffed and can't keep up with the calls. There were days that there were two of us for several hours. We just parked next to each other and went to all our calls together. Nothing proactive those days.

We have "minimum" staffing, but were usually below minimum staffing. If you had a vacancy, they just changed the minimum number for that day. No, they don't call people in to work or cancel vacation days or whatnot. They just run understaffed.

It was one of those things I had written down for if/when I got hurt. Get the minimum manning chart and the unit roster for the moment I got hurt. Then sue because it was usually dangerously unsafe.

10-28-2012, 08:23
I remember the Sky Marshal exodus. Going to muster and having almost as many chiefs as indians was a weird situation.

10-28-2012, 08:44
So its not just here, huh?

They have been promising to increase our manpower for, what......fourteen years now?

I'm sure things will get better any day now. It's right around the corner. :rofl:

I have a sergeant that says it best: When admin puts calls for service as a priority, so will we. He follows that up with one call at a time, don't get hurt out there and wait on your backup.....no matter how many hours it takes for dispatch to find you one.

Nothing like having three guys covering four very large metro zones....on a Friday......and it's raining.....and one of the three has to spend four hours at the desk answering calls for cell phone thefts and questions of civil matters.

I guess I'll quit whining since it seems to be common in other agencies.

10-28-2012, 09:48

10-28-2012, 10:58
We're all singing off of the same sheet of music, just with different inflections.

The challenge I have for cities and jurisdictions is this: while you pissed away money on pet projects or art projects or social justice causes, did at any point did you think of infrastructure like roads, utilities or public safety?

Obviously not.

10-28-2012, 11:36
In Wales, for a town of 100K they has two cars for the city, no foot patrols. This was during a football match, sorry, soccer. If you were a villain, football match day was like a free fire zone, easy pickings.

It's the same in nursing, admin routinely assigns extra duties that other dept. just decided they don't want to do. So we run our azzez off trying to make it work.

I like the Sgt. Who says do it by the book. When an asinine policy is handed down that will never work, we being a can do people, bend and contort things to make it work. This causes them to think the asinine policy works, when it doesn't. If you follow the policy as written and only as its written, then the policy is destined to fail and be proven crap.

10-28-2012, 16:54
We have it better than most as far as staffing is concerned, but have still been running at minimums frequently, especially on the weekends. We were at minimums last night, but could have used four or five more guys as I don't think anybody "patrolled" from 2300 to 0300, just ran call to call.

Our minimums are pretty much hard and fast. If they can't meet them, they'll force people to stay over.

10-28-2012, 17:39
In prison situations it is a bit different than working the streets as many of you do. But, we also have our staffing problems. Some places there are so few people that they are doing more than one housing unit, and hoping for the best. Where I work, I can only comment so much, but suffice it to say we are running barely within complement.

10-28-2012, 18:18
Same story here. Retirements and other attrition are what is putting the hurt on us. That and we have too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

It's made worse by our command staff's insistence on forcing officers who have late calls to take comptime the next shift instead of paying overtime. We're about to have a grievance over it, but for the immediate future our patrol shifts start short and end even shorter. Foolishness and shortsighted as hell, especially when we gave back several thousand dollars in overtime last year.

10-28-2012, 18:47
Have the command staff and their political masters gather. Brief on desired coverage. Brief on current numbers employed. Set "current number" equal to "desired coverage". *Poof!* You're at 100%.

minus budget devoted to pointless special projects, and trying to get them to actually be at the office... Bupkis, status quo, and every Deputy that quits, gets replaced with a cheaper CO.

10-28-2012, 18:48
Pretty lucky here. They actually do fill up to our minimums, almost every time. We almost never have to force anybody to stay past the end of their shift because somebody will volunteer.

That said, we're short too. This past Friday afternoon the score was - O.T. 6/ straight time 5. And last year, one of our K9 guys worked 7p-3a. He counted for minimums on both PM and Mids even though he was only there half.

My prior dept. was paper thin when I was there, and is down at least 15% more with the city growing. Every night they'll send up a white flag of surrender in a few districts before the night even starts. One call at a time, and back your partners is a great philosophy but it's draining for sure.

10-28-2012, 22:31
Nothing new here at all. We were at half strength for a long long time and working weeks on end with a day off every two weeks gets very stupid after a while, not to mention dangerous.