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A Question on Work Ethics

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  • A Question on Work Ethics

    Hello,

    Our department employs about 8 part-time officers (in additional to full-time officers). Primarily they work the weekend day shifts and provide extra coverage on Friday and Saturday evenings when things are busy.

    You would think that with 8 officers, you could cover the 8 to 10 shifts (for an average month) with little or no problem. It seems, however, that every month the schedule is made, it gets harder and harder to get people to work. The list of excuses and reasons is long.....

    Granted, some of the reasons are justified: Legitimate illness, deaths in the family, etc. But the times I hear "Im just not available" or "I can't work" leaves me with the feeling that more and more people are just getting lazy.

    Sure, they want to come in when they feel like it, but thats not a good work ethic in my opinion. You need to work on a regular basis for a variety of reasons. Reliability, professionalism, and to keep your street skills up to speed.

    When they don't want to work, it puts a strain on the department (because someone who is already working may have to work a double shift) and the community (because you have an exhausted officer working the street or none at all).

    All I can say is: ARRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just venting,
    C

  • #2
    How have the city fathers responded to this situation? Any consideration
    towards eliminating the part-time officers and hiring a couple of regulars?
    If coverage is a big concern, perhaps employing off-duty officers from
    surrounding communities, consolidating with an adjacent town or merging
    with the county sheriff might be an option?

    Comment


    • #3
      The only one you can really blame is your department. Someone needs to step up and set a schedule and if these guys can't work fire them and hire guys who will show up.

      There is probably hundreds of people who would love that job and show up.

      Seems they got too relaxed because someone let them.

      Originally posted by cblackthorne View Post
      Hello,

      Our department employs about 8 part-time officers (in additional to full-time officers). Primarily they work the weekend day shifts and provide extra coverage on Friday and Saturday evenings when things are busy.

      You would think that with 8 officers, you could cover the 8 to 10 shifts (for an average month) with little or no problem. It seems, however, that every month the schedule is made, it gets harder and harder to get people to work. The list of excuses and reasons is long.....

      Granted, some of the reasons are justified: Legitimate illness, deaths in the family, etc. But the times I hear "Im just not available" or "I can't work" leaves me with the feeling that more and more people are just getting lazy.

      Sure, they want to come in when they feel like it, but thats not a good work ethic in my opinion. You need to work on a regular basis for a variety of reasons. Reliability, professionalism, and to keep your street skills up to speed.

      When they don't want to work, it puts a strain on the department (because someone who is already working may have to work a double shift) and the community (because you have an exhausted officer working the street or none at all).

      All I can say is: ARRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Just venting,
      C

      Comment


      • #4
        Work Ethics

        Not minimizing it, but your department's problem is probably more common than we think. Essentially, I feel the solution to the problem is in the hands of the department's leadership. In a small agency, that would be the Chief,Assistant Chief etc. I liked the previously posted thought of possibly taking the money used to fund X-number of Part-Time slots, and using it to fill one or two,(possibly more) full time positions. The Dept might look at requiring a Part time Officer to work, say, two shifts per month. You're gonna have to "crunch some numbers", and yes, the leadership of the department is going to have to step up to the plate. It may mean consolidation/contracting with other agencies. There are a myriad of legal considerations there, but essentially, they are do-able. Other than that, you have some problems to contend with. There is a finite number of hours in which you can require a person to work. Federal Wage/Hour law includes government agencies at all levels. There is too, the prospect of a fatigued Officer routinely working "double shifts". That gets dangerous fast.

        Comment


        • #5
          I assume part time means paid positions?
          What would you do if your full time guys decided not to show up when scheduled?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Outshined
            Yes, of course it is our fault that they are lazy and don't want to work. Wow, I never thought of that. When I fire them I should apologize, because I made them the way they are. Bull.
            It's not your fault they are lazy, but it is your fault for keeping them around no?

            A full timer decided not to come to work what happens? He is terminated. Same should go for PT if that's what you want.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes, the part-timers are paid.

              There has been talk of replacing the part-timers with a full timer, but I dont think the hours are there and neither the budget for hiring a full time officer.

              In the past, a majority of the part-timers were officers that worked full time for other agencies or were previous full time officers that moved onto civillian jobs and wanted to continue working in law enforcement. When we had them, there was never a problem with filling the schedule.

              In the last year or so, those people have moved on and we now have alot of part-timers that are relatively new to law enforcement. Thats why I bring up the question of work ethic.

              Comment


              • #8
                Wish we had additional officers for the weekends. We are limited to 3 guys for our entire county on the 0700-1400 shift and 1400-2200 on our midnight we have one car and 2 troopers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Since we don't have part-timers, I have a question. Do they work full time at another agency? Or are they more like reserve officers who have full time civilian jobs?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Why don't you draft a policy that requires them to work X number of hours per quarter and bounce it off your chief. It should not be a hard sell for the reasons you mentioned. If your chief is still not buying it, you might just have to accept that that is the way it is and move on to something else.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just like any other job, require them to come to work. In my younger years while having a part-time job, I was required to be there on a certain date/time. Makes no difference if you are in LE or at McDonalds.

                      Now, if these part time officers are full-time at other agencies, then possibly working with them on the schedule a little may be necessary but I see nothing wrong with making PT people work a certain number of hours each month. The way our schedule rotates, our tour moves by one day in the week every three weeks. So, right now I may be available to work P/T on Tuesdays....but in a few weeks, I'd be available on Mondays but not Tuesdays. Thats what I mean by working with them to meet their F/T schedules.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That's what I don't like about part-time cops.

                        Some truly want to be cops, but others want a badge and a gun, and possibly a free ride on some traffic violations.

                        I suppose you could fire them, which gets them in trouble with POST (if you have a POST).
                        "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cblackthorne View Post
                          But the times I hear "Im just not available" or "I can't work" leaves me with the feeling that more and more people are just getting lazy.
                          Actually, it's not that unusual.

                          When you only work someone for one or two days a week, pay them low wages, low (if any) benefits and insist that they work during those days and hours they would normally spend having fun with family and friends, the job quickly ceases to be a priority in their lives, no matter what the profession.

                          I'm not saying its right - its just human nature.
                          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            L-1 is correct - "...just human nature."

                            I would suggest a meeting with all PT officers to explain their positions and what the department expects from them. After all, I am certain they expect full PC and benefits if they are stopped by an officer for a traffic infraction, etc. Their benefits would seem to be greater than they realize.

                            If they are not willing to adapt to the needs of the department and community then, perhaps, they should consider submitting a resignation or becoming a fulltime VOLUNTEER or reserve officer.

                            No LE agency should depend on part-time officers unless they are willing to sign a contract and abide by the terms and conditions therein specified.
                            Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                            [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I went through this years ago with my last department. I finally got the chief to agree to a policy that failure to work at least an 8-hour shift in any two consecutive months resulted in termination at the chief and LT's discretion. An addendum on the policies also allowed up to a 30 day leave of absence (unpaid of course) for ANY officer due to certain things such as illness ect.

                              All that said, we ended up doing away with part timers and allocating the money to the OT budget. Guys don't mind working so much at 1.5x rate.



                              As for lazy officers being the admin's fault, I have to agree with that. The job of administration is to manage the department. Part of that is performance reviews and if necessary thinning the herd. The biggest problem I had on the road was lazy officers and supervisors who would do nothing about it.

                              Comment

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