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On call? Court interfering with weird hours?

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  • On call? Court interfering with weird hours?

    Hello,

    I had a couple questions in regards to what it's like after hours as a cop.

    - Is there an "on call" system in place for your large or small department? As in someone other than detectives may be called in to work on their off hours?

    - Those who work graveyard shift, how bad does court interfere with this? I can see working 10PM-7AM with a case scheduled to begin at 9AM really making this shift a living hell. Is there any structure in your department that acts as an aid to this situation?

    The departments within my area (Hampton Roads, VA) all have hundreds of cops staffed at all times within each city, so I really wonder how these questions pertain to a department with an average of 800 staffed officers.

  • #2
    We work two weeks day, two weeks night. The first week back on day shift is our court week. Sometimes one court date a month, sometimes two. If I get called in on my day off, I get paid to go to court.
    Ask them, Tell them, Make them.

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    • #3
      You can be called in to work early, which happens more and more due to staffing shortages. Court sucks when working nights, but the overtime can be lucrative.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Analyst211 View Post
        Hello,

        I had a couple questions in regards to what it's like after hours as a cop.

        - Is there an "on call" system in place for your large or small department? As in someone other than detectives may be called in to work on their off hours?

        - Those who work graveyard shift, how bad does court interfere with this? I can see working 10PM-7AM with a case scheduled to begin at 9AM really making this shift a living hell. Is there any structure in your department that acts as an aid to this situation?

        The departments within my area (Hampton Roads, VA) all have hundreds of cops staffed at all times within each city, so I really wonder how these questions pertain to a department with an average of 800 staffed officers.
        In a larger agency such as you are talking about (800 plus officers) you are probably not going to have to worry about being "on call" as a patrol officer.

        Smaller agencies (under 50) might see on call situations


        Court ----------you are going to loose sleep if you work midnights. Fact of life and you either get used to it or find a way off of midnights
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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        • #5
          Usually during the week, it is a bit slow in the early hours of the night. We are allowed comp time to beginning of shift during the week. So if I am to be in at 1800, but was at court from 0900 to 1100, I have a choice - I can be in at 1800 and get 2 hrs OT for the court, or I can choose to come in at 2000. Most people in their first year take the OT, after they've settled into their financial budget, they decide they prefer the extra sleep.

          Weekends usually don't matter - the only day that would apply would be Friday, and it's extremely rare to have court on a Friday.

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          • #6
            We don't do on call. If our officers are subpoenaed they show up at court and if they are off duty they get a minimum of four hours overtime at time and a half (six hours pay).

            The only time this has posed problems was when we went to 12 hour shifts. By the time a graveyard officer gets off, doubles back for court, testifies and goes home, there is not enough time to get a good nights rest and then double back to work for the next shift. Often this results in the officer calling off sick for his next shift, compounding matters further by disrupting his graveyard sleep cycle.

            In the metro areas we get a lot of court and this was starting to hamper graveyard operations, so a lot of our offices gave up 12 hour shifts and went back to alternate working hours.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • #7
              We can be called in early if patrol is short on staffing, but there is no policy that you have to answer your phone, nor that you have to check your voicemail. Our only on-call positions are a detective, detective sergeant, one coroner and one CSI deputy (soon to be replaced by nonsworn criminalists).

              If you get a subpoena, you go to court. Sometimes it interferes with sleep and personal life. Suck it up, it's overtime. Two court appearances on days off buys a gun.
              Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

              I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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              • #8
                My agency is big enough that it is rare for patrol officers to be on call. Specialized units like K-9, SWAT, SAR, etc are exceptions as are detectives. The same goes for command staff.
                In God We Trust
                Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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                • #9
                  On-call for a patrol guy is the exception rather than the norm...That said, sometimes you'll end up as an on-call in places without 24 hour coverage. I happen to find myself in that boat lol. When looking at an agency, if the patrol division has 24 hour coverage, that should be a good rule of thumb about on-call stuff.

                  Court, it is what it is.

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                  • #10
                    Court is a fact of life in law enforcement. My Agency policy is to adjust a Trooper's time in regard to court. For example, if a Trooper spends say, four hours,either in court, or waiting to testify, his schedule is adjusted accordingly. He has the option of reporting for duty four hours late, or leaving four hours early on any work day in the pay period.

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                    • #11
                      We are paid 3hrs of overtime for court no matter how long the case takes. As an officer working midnight (1800-0600) it can be inconvenient but the pay is OK.

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