The Valdosta Daily Times
An experiment to move Valdosta Police Department patrol officers from eight-hour to 12-hour shifts seems to be surpassing goals of placing more officers on the streets, costing the city no additional money, and raising morale in the ranks, Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress said Friday.
In late October, the VPD initiated the move to 12-hour shifts on a trial basis through Christmas. Childress said the change was implemented through officer requests and the approval of Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson. Childress said he’s received positive feedback from officers. He shared one email from VPD officers: “Chief, I was going to give you some informal feedback on the new shifts. C-shift officers are unanimous in favor of continuing/keeping the 12-hour shifts. Officers have commented several times how much they love it already and it hasn’t even been two weeks yet.”
The chief said a handful of officers’ spouses have also thanked him. Childress said he defers all thanks to the officers who recommended the change and the city manager for approving it.
With the eight-hour shifts, officers had one traditional Saturday-Sunday weekend approximately every month and a half. With the 12-hour shift, they have a traditional weekend every other week. “The shift change allows officers more time with their families,” Childress said.
The shift change continues on its temporary status through Christmas when an official decision will be made whether to make a permanent switch to the 12-hour shift.