Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

November 18, 2013

VPD: Another positive shift

The Valdosta police officer’s comments on a recent Valdosta Police Department citizen contact & referral form speaks to the effectiveness of moving patrol officers from eight-hour to 12-hour shifts.

A Valdosta resident “asked if there was anything going on in the area because he noticed more patrols in the area,” according to the officer’s comments. “I told him that VPD had gone to a 12-hour schedule giving the officers more time to patrol. He thanked us for our efforts.”

Implemented at the end of October, the VPD has temporarily moved its patrol officers to 12-hour shifts, but already, only a few weeks into the experiment, it looks like it will become permanent come the new year.

Twelve-hour shifts cover a lot of ground, Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress told The Times last week. The change places more officers on the streets, costs the city no additional money, and raises morale in the ranks.

In addition to positive feedback from residents, the police chief has heard from his officers that they also appreciate the change. Even officers’ spouses have offered thanks for the change.

Under the eight-hour shifts, uniform patrol officers were off a traditional weekend about once every month and a half. Under the 12-hour shifts, officers have a traditional Saturday-Sunday weekend every other week.

While the change to 12-hour shifts remains in the experimental phase, with more officers on the streets, better morale, and no extra cost to taxpayers, it seems a change worth making permanent.

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