New SF police schedules pay off
Posted at: 10/04/2012 8:12 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Santa Fe Police officers went from working four, 10-hour days to five, eight-hour days more than a year ago. And it's a move the police department said is paying off big time.
"Overtime alone, we're looking at a rough number of about $97,000 that was saved," Captain Aric Wheeler said.
But the Santa Fe Police Officer's Association questions the data.
President Adam Gallegos said they have requested the numbers to prove the schedule change is among the main reason for the savings, but said the association still has not seen the numbers.
"That's not the sole source for the savings on the overtime," Gallegos said. "It's all the cutbacks that have been made that contribute to that amount. Minimum staffing has been reduced... coverage for special assignments in some cases has been reduced to nothing."
An extra day means there are more officers to tackle crime prone areas throughout the city, Wheeler said adding it is already making a difference.
"Burglary numbers for the month of September 2012 are the lowest that we have seen in any month since 2006," Wheeler said.
But Gallegos adds morale is also low among officers.
"That's their view from up in the, for lack of a better term, ivory tower, but for those of us that are in the trenches everyday, for lack of a better term, know better and know different," Gallegos said.
While the department is not planning to switch back to the old schedules, Wheeler said the department is open to working with the association to reach some sort of compromise.