DETROIT, MICHIGAN – Police officers in Detroit are beginning new, 12-hour shifts as part of the department’s efforts to cut overtime and save cash.
And already, the rank and file tells FOX 2 it’s causing problems.
At the Eastern District, officers say only three marked cars were on patrol Monday night during a shift that normally sees seven marked cars on the street. “Shocked. Disbelief. Concern for my safety. Concern for my officer’s safety,” said one officer who wished to remain anonymous.
DPD officials say the shortage of officers was due to the transition between old and new shifts with some officers working their old shift Monday morning. Officials say the department filled the gaps by using officers from other units to handle police runs so there wouldn’t be a true shortage.
We’re told the scheduling issue has been ironed out and this shouldn’t happen again.
The shifts will see officers work two weeks and have the next 14 days off.
A judge ruled last month that Mayor Dave Bing could institute the new shifts and a 10-percent pay cut to police. The $75 million in police pay cuts is designed to help the city cut into a budget deficit that once stood at more than $300 million.
Other city workers also have taken pay cuts.
Police Chief Ralph Godbee has said about 1,500 patrol officers will work the longer shifts and keep more officers on city streets.
Officers and union leaders have protested the move.