NYPD tests 12, 10-hour shifts to improve morale, retain officers
The union applauds the change in work schedules as way to give officers more time with their families
By Bill Carey
NEW YORK — The NYPD has begun a pilot shift program in select precincts in the Bronx as an effort to improve morale and mental health as well as reduce attrition in the ranks.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell addressed officers at Wednesday morning’s roll call at the 47th Precinct in the Bronx, one of the first to allow officers to work the new schedule, ABC News reported.
“We recognize that you coming to work and then being told you have to stay extra hours is a hardship. You have families. You have things in your lives that matter that you want to get back to,” Sewell told the first officers to work a 12-hour tour.
In the six-month pilot program, approximately 400 officers will work 10 and 12-hour tours. Under the 12-hour shift option, officers work three days on and three days off. In the 10-hour option, officers work four days on and two days off.
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch praised the flexible schedules in front of the 47th Precinct officers.
“Many folks said no. Most administrations wouldn't even talk about it. This administration would. This commissioner said yes. For the next generation of the NYPD, this will become the norm,” Lynch said. “You can live your life better. It’s important we talk about your home life. It’s important we talk about the mental health of each and every one of you and your family. Well, today is the start of that real discussion. but more importantly, the real solution.”
The pilot program comes amid large numbers of veteran officers retiring or taking jobs at other departments for better pay and benefits. The department is experiencing high overtime costs as the rest of the force picks up the slack with extra hours.