WFPD Chief: New Shifts Increasing Department Efficiency

- Wichita Falls police officers started new work schedules in mid-July.

They now work 12 hour shifts and are off three days a week.

WFPD Chief Manuel Borrego says, "They'll swing around and then they'll hit a swing day, which is that Saturday, so they'll be off three days one week and then when they come around they'll be off four the next because they'll be off that Saturday."

Officers work one eight-hour day in a two week period so they can stay within 80 hours and avoid overtime.

"What we're finding is by going to these 12 hours, we were able to put more officers on the street, which gave us not only the opportunity to answer our calls for service, which we have to do, but it gave us the opportunity to put officers to do directed enforcement in these areas that we identified as having high crime problems," Borrego says.

As with any change, there were some questions.

"There's a lot of concerns you may have; fatigue being one, officers being tired, but they were already on 10 hours shifts, so really we just added a couple hours to it."

Borrego says officers now have an extra day off each week, which also decreases the fatigue factor.

And he says the new shifts are increasing the department's efficiency.

"We have already seen a reduction in overtime and we have seen a reduction in sick time usage," Borrego says.

He says officers are still adjusting to their new schedules, but for the most part, they're settling in just fine.

"I think most of them are starting to come around and they're liking it and it works well for them."

Borrego says another plus of the 12-hour shifts is that even new officers can get a weekend or two off throughout the month, where before they didn't because getting weekends off was based on seniority.

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