Cary Police Chief Says Permanent Scheduling Efficient, Effective
Posted December 9, 2003 7:30 a.m. EST
CARY, N.C. — A
of the Raleigh Police Department showed 93 percent of officers surveyed judged morale as low; 65 percent said work schedules put officers at risk.
Crime never rests. That means police officers work around the clock. In most Triangle police departments, every officer has to work the overnight shift and rotating schedules are common.
Cary has a solution that is catching on and attracting officers from other police departments.
Officer Stephen Wingo rotated between nights and days when he worked at North Carolina State University.
"We worked night shift, then day shift, night shift, day shift. Your body's trying to adjust from night to day and it really it's a lot of stress on you," he said.
It was hard on officer Wingo's body and on his life.
"You can't make any plans, because you're flipping and flopping back and forth. So it's not that good," he said.
That was a big reason Wingo switched uniforms and became a Cary police officer.
"One of the first things you ask when applying for a job is 'What are the hours? How long will I be working?" Wingo said.
In Cary, officers get permanent shifts. A few years ago, soon after Chief Winfield Hunter took over, he made the switch on the advice of his officers.
"It seems like it's not only a popular decision, but it's also been very efficient and effective as far as departmental operations," Hunter said.
Hunter says scheduling is effective because officers get to know the people and the problems on their beat.
As for Raleigh, the idea of permanent shifts has not come up yet, but Raleigh officers do set their own schedules.