Everyone is now aware that certain patrol specialty squads , non-patrol specialty squads and detectives are being mandated to augment the patrol force. Depending on the detail, NET Officers and some specialty detectives will be required to do one week rotations back to patrol each month. Case carrying detectives will be required to do a one day per month rotation back to patrol.
Some officers have inquired as to what PLEA’s position is in response to these mandated shifts. PLEA has communicated to the Chief that we understand the manpower and staffing issues we are currently confronting. We further understand they were not caused by PD management nor were they caused by PLEA or the rank and file. While we can appreciate the tough position that police management finds themselves in;
responsibility for the current predicament lies squarely at the feet of city management who has been quite comfortable in neglecting to hire officers for seven years leaving the city dangerously short staffed on police manpower.
This has not only strained police resources to the breaking point and created unsafe working conditions, it has also had an unfair impact on the citizens we serve in as evidenced by increased response times. PLEA has expressed our belief that the current staffing shortages should continue to be addressed through overtime. Taking case carrying detectives and specialty detectives away from their duties is a rob Peter to pay Paul scheme that does nothing to address the true staffing issues and not only leaves officers at increased risk while adversely impacting services to the citizens we serve.
Despite our concerns, the MOU, under section 1-2.B. gives the City and the Police Chief the exclusive right and authority to schedule work and/or overtime work as required in a manner most advantageous to the City.