DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit police officers were ordered to begin working 12 hour shifts starting Monday, but the new longer hours have been put off pending a court hearing on Friday.
Detroit Police Officers Association President Joe Duncan says 12 hours is just too much.
“The bottom line is you can’t run constantly for 12 hours for two days in a row or three days in a row. Even though you may have more time off, that’s a lot of wear and tear on your body,” Duncan said. “Couple that with we have single individuals that have to have daycare. I don’t know any daycare that would allow you to go 12 hours.”
“This isn’t a job where you’re just stickin’ somethin’ in and pressin’ somethin’ out,” he added. “This not only can affect the officers’ safety but the safety of citizens as well. I mean, fatigue is fatigue — that’s when mistakes start to happen.”
Duncan said the officers are overworked as it is.
“I mean, you look at the volume of work in the city of Detroit compared to any place in America — not only just in Michigan, but in America — and you’ll find out … this is a very dangerous city, a very dangerous city,” Duncan said.
Duncan argues that Chief Ralph Godbee needs the union’s approval for the plan.
Chief Ralph Godbee said departments across the country have implemented these longer shifts and it’s the best way to get more boots on the ground in a tough economy.
A proposed ballot measure that would have raised taxes to pay for more police officers will not go to a vote after it was rejected by City Council.