Detroit police chief: Morale main reason for bringing back 8-hour shifts

Officers had been on 12-hour shifts since 2012

DETROIT - Detroit police officers are back on eight-hour shifts.

What does that mean for safety on the streets? Local 4 went straight to the top to talk with Police Chief James Craig on Monday to about it.

Officers in the city have been working 12-hour shifts since 2012. The mandate was implemented by the city's former chief, Ralph Godbee.

Craig told Local 4's Shawn Ley that he can sum up why he's taking officers off the 12-hour shifts in one word: morale.

He said morale was low when he took over because officers were fatigued.

 The forced 12-hour shifts were meant to reduce overtime, but, Craig said, that was the main complaint he heard among his officers.

"One day I was out in Eastern District at a call with six officers and all they said was one thing, ‘Chief, help us.' It was too long," he said. "Police officers felt like they didn't have a voice in the organization."

Some officers told Local 4 the longer shifts made them feel like zombies.

Craig said it's a win-win situation with officers' morale going up and crime going down.

"Things are trending in the right direction. Not quite enough, like I've said, ‘One homicide is one too many,' but we're excited about the momentum building behind driving that violence down in this city," he said.

Craig said more changes will be coming.

In addition, the Detroit Police Department will implement 10-hour "power shift." Theses shift will overlap two other shifts and officers will have the opportunity to request working them.

Watch: Police union stalls 12-hour work days

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