‘If no one else can work, I work:' Neb. chief works 19 days in a row to fill patrol gaps
"I love this community. And so, the hours that I’m putting in are because of my care for the people,” Ashland Chief Ryan Brady said
By Bill Carey
ASHLAND, Neb. — A Nebraska police chief has been working around the clock to fill in gaps in patrols as his department deals with a staffing crisis.
A little over a year ago Ryan Brady became the Ashland police chief. As the town tries to hire more officers Brady has been picking up the extra work, KETV reported.
“Somebody’s got to work, so the buck stops here. If no one else can work, I work,” Brady said.
With retirements and unfilled positions Brady is one of the only three full-time officers in the department. Brady works every sick day and vacation day and recently worked 19 days in a row. "I do combination day shifts and night shifts. Sometimes it's 24 to 36 hours straight that I cover myself,” Brady said.
Brady said he recorded over 170 hours in a two-week period. Last year he had over 800 hours of overtime, but being on salary he does not get overtime pay.
"I love this community. And so, the hours that I’m putting in are because of my care for the people, definitely not, you know, because I just am a martyr or enjoy these long shifts or whatever. It's that I care about this community,” Brady said.
Ashland Mayor Jim Anderson knows his town isn't immune to the nationwide recruitment crisis. The city recently raised the starting pay for officers by $5 an hour. Recruiting is hard as the town loses officers to Lincoln and Omaha.
Brady said the town is never without coverage. The Saunders County Sheriff's Office and Nebraska State Patrol assist but he feels it is his responsibility.
“We are ambassadors for the city,” Brady said. “We want people to have an interaction with us as a police department and think that this reflects the people of Ashland,”