Monday, April 14, 2014

How Long Can You Work?

They say that fatigue can be as dangerous to drivers as being under the influence of alcohol.  Do you drive when you are fatigued?  Does your agency work a ten or twelve hour shift?  Do you get up after a refreshing eight hours sleep and then go directly to work, or are you awake five or six hours or more before you even start your shift?

If your shift runs into overtime because of a late call or report writing or prisoner transportation, you have been awake for twelve or fourteen or sixteen hours or more?  What happens if someone calls off for the night and you have to work a shift and a half?  Are you safe to drive home after working eighteen hours?

How about court the next day?  Work an eighteen hour shift, then drive home, sleep a couple hours, then drive back to work, get a patrol car, go to court for four  hours then back to a twelve hour shift?  Are you alert?  Can you shoot?  Can you drive?  How many hours can you be expected to work and still be effective?  As a supervisor you need to consider how long your officers work.  An officer might be able to work one eighteen hour shift, but can they work two or three in a row?  Officer fatigue is an important issue that is often overlooked; that's what the SGT Says.


Protect_and_Serve said...

Like almost everything else, the issue is money. "They" want 24/7 Police protection but they never want to pay for enough cops to do the job safely. Any Department that has overtime on a regular basis, should have more officers to cover that time. Of course some officers beg for overtime to get more money and so the cycle continues. The pursuit of money is the root of all sorts of evil.

Mike Creek said...

One problems agencies in California seem to have is that it takes a couple years or more from application to hired, trained and into a patrol car. That makes it really hard to get that lead time right.