DETROIT - Detroit police officers work a traditional 8-hour shift.
For most of the city's police officers, that traditional shift is about to end.
The city of Detroit is imposing a 12-hour work day for officer. They will work two days, then have two days off. Then they will work three days before having three days off. The knew shift schedule begins Aug. 20. Dayside officers will work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The power shift for plain-clothed officers will be between 4 p.m. and 4 a.m. The afternoon and midnight shifts will be merged and will start at midnight and end at noon. Excluded from the schedule are narcotics, gang squad and homicide.
Detroit police officers union spokesman officer Mark O'Malley said the new hours are beyond devastating.
"At some point you gotta have some rest. You don't want to have a sleepy police officer coming to your door when you have an emergency," he said.
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O'Malley said the overtime hurts the pocketbook, too, because officers currently get overtime pay after 8 hours. The imposed rules will prevent overtime until an officer works 84 hours in a two-week period.
On Wednesday afternoon, at a home invasion, Detroiters were surprised to learn of the new work rules.
"Ten hours seems to be OK, but 12 is a long time on the job. I don't know how long they've been on today, but they were very fast getting here today," said Carnell Smith, of Detroit.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee said the department is in deep financial trouble and it is losing $75 million in funding. Worse yet, Godbee said, he has more than 100 officers on the payroll than he is budgeted for.
The city of Detroit must make dramatic changes to get better policing from a smaller force.
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