Northglenn Police Department short staffed by 25 employees

Department moves to 12 hour shifts to cover shortage

Luke Zarzecki
lzarzecki@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 11/21/22

Northglenn’s police department is working with a 15 patrol officer vacancy. 

“Never have I ever seen such a competitive market for police officers,” said Northglenn Chief …

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Northglenn Police Department short staffed by 25 employees

Department moves to 12 hour shifts to cover shortage

Posted

Northglenn’s police department is working with a 15 patrol officer vacancy. 

“Never have I ever seen such a competitive market for police officers,” said Northglenn Chief James May.

City Councilors discussed the issue of higher vacant staff positions at a study session meeting on Nov. 7. Not only limited to patrol officers, but the department also needs two employees on the traffic team, five records specialists, one public information office, an administrative specialist and a custodian.

“When minimum staffing levels are not met, overtime, extended shifts, and other staffing maneuvers are used to ensure officer safety and adequate public safety resources are provided to the community,” the meeting agenda reads.

To help address the staffing shortage, the department moved to a 12-hour schedule. Officers will work four 12-hour shifts followed by three days off, then three more 12-hour shifts followed by four days off. 

The plan is to return to 10-hour shifts once the department reaches adequate staffing levels. 

City Councilor Richard Kondo asked if the 12 hours includes the time needed to prep patrol cars and weapons or if the officer would need to put in extra time. May said that time is included in the scheduled shift. 

He said there will be shifts from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. as well as 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. to cover the transition in shifts. 

However, May explained that sometimes calls can extend a shift from 12 hours to 14 hours, depending on what’s needed.

“With 146 calls a day, you have no idea what that next call will be,” May said. “It could be a question from a resident or something major like shutting down the whole highway for hours. This year we’ve been plagued with too many homicides in our community.” 

To be able to give officers the rest and time off they need, employees from the investigation unit said they would be willing to cover patrol in any way they can. 

Overtime reductions

City Councilor Becky Brown asked how the new schedule will impact the department's overtime pay. May said the overtime budget will actually reduce because often, officers were called in due to short staffing. 

Brown also asked how the officers felt about going to the new schedule. May said there are mixed reviews regarding the change.

Commander Ron Osgood said he received some pushback, but less than he expected, and said he points to the silver lining of getting an extra day off.

As well, he said the Commerce City Police Department switched to 12-hour shifts a few years ago and received a lot of pushback. Now, officers don’t want to go back to the 10 hour shifts. 

“It’s not doom and gloom, we will be able to still provide that level of service,” May said.

Northglenn Police Department, short staffed, hiring, 12-hour shift, colorado, public safety

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