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Overtime as a probationary officer

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  • Overtime as a probationary officer

    So I'm about to start FT and I was wondering whether or not there are a lot of opportunities for a rookie to get overtime? Or is it based on seniority? I know that every department is different. Thanks guys.

  • #2
    How OT is distributed will vary from department to department. Some do it according to the terms of the union contract, some have a system for equal distribution, some have no system. You need to ask your supervisor/

    You can bet that while on FTO status you will not be working without your FTO, so your OT will probably be limited to whatever the two of you catch at end of watch or in court.

    As a side issue, being the new guy you haven't been there long enough to put any sick leave or vacation on the books. If you get sick or have an off duty accident that keeps you off work for a while, this means you will not get paid. If your agency lets you take OT in some form of compensatory time off, you might want to think about using your OT to build up your time off banks to the max, to ensure you have some form of income in case you have an emergency down the line.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      Couldn't have said it any better than L-1.

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      • #4
        We don't assign OT for shift coverage to officers who have not been released to be on their own.

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        • #5
          Overtime As A Probationary Officer

          Well, like you said, every agency is different. Also, are you referring to overtime in terms of staying as an extension of your regular shift or the type of off duty employment, like working at a business?

          The agencies that I am most familiar with often will make probationary officers wait until they have completed probation before they can do certain type of overtime. Many feel it is most important for the new officer to just concentrate on learning the job during the regularly assisgned shifts before taking on additional responsibilities, but as they say "your mileage my vary!"

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          • #6
            I'm off FTO, but our probation extends 15 months. I'm allowed to work dept OT, such as traffic initiatives, crime initiatives, street closures, parades, etc. But I can't work the contract security type jobs til I'm off probation. I did get to work security OT for when the POTUS came to town, though. That was kinda cool.
            "No one can make you feel like a turd without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

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            • #7
              thanks guys that pretty much answered all of my questions.

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              • #8
                How overtime is handled will depend on your union contract or work rules.

                In our system, to fill open shifts, it rotates by seniority, which is a pretty fair system. That way even the junior guys get a shot to get some OT. If there is a sick call that drops the shift below minimums, then they call the officers regularly assigned to that shift who are off, and then go through the senority list.

                It does involve keeping written records, but it's worked pretty well. My dept has 35 sworn with 18 officers + 3 sergeants on patrol. I would think assigning overtime in a big department would be a real project . . .

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