GREENFIELD, Ind. – A new schedule option for the 42 men and women who patrol Greenfield has found several benefits.
After a six-month trial, the police department has allowed officers the opportunity to work 12-hour shifts on a permanent basis. The move gives the staff on this schedule the chance to enjoy more time off the clock during the weekends.
"About a year-and-a-half into it, it just got hard I guess, meeting with family and friends," said Isaiah Ernst, who is nearly a three-year veteran with Greenfield police. "They have every weekend off. We were getting a weekend off every three months."
With the 12-hour schedule, Ernst is now with family every other weekend.
It was a schedule 28 of the 42 patrol men and women signed up for.
"We went from three squads, to now four squads, of seven," said Greenfield Police Chief Jeff Rasche. "On a good day, we have seven officers working on the street. We had never had that here in Greenfield before."
Rasche said police departments across the country have looked at ways to get the most out of staff. The schedule option made sense to him and has cut down on overtime spending.
Last year, Rasche said he had $20,000 leftover in his overtime budget. Annually, he's given $60,000.
"By doing these things, I hope it will keep the officers we have here," Rasche said. "We've spent a lot of time and effort training and to keep them here, and I hope when it comes to hiring, it will be more attractive for us."
Officers on the 12-hour shift work no more than three-days in a row.
"I feel like it’s a lot harder to get burned out," said Ernst. "When you come to work, you’re more fresh."