Landrum police eye move to 12-hour shifts

Published 10:00 am Friday, May 13, 2011

Landrum City Council members May 10 gave Police Chief Bruce Shelnut their approval to move to 12-hour shifts within the Landrum Police Department. Police officers on the force currently rotate on 10-hour shifts.
Chief Bruce Shelnut said he believes the change will be more efficient than the department’s current scheduling once he can hire one or more additional officers.
“We’re one man short of doing what I’d really like to do because this will leave one man on a 10-hour shift but I think this is something we’ve got to eventually do to stay competitive with surrounding departments,” Shelnut said.
Officers will now work 84 hours over the course of two weeks. According to Shelnut, state regulations do not require police departments to pay time and a half until an officer has worked more than 86 hours in a two-week period when they are paid on a yearly salary.
These changes will mean officers will essentially work in two crews – one sergeant and two men on each. These crews will work shifts from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., 4 p.m. – 4 a.m. and 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. Shelnut said this is similar to how many other local departments run shift schedules.
Councilwoman Jan Horton thought the move would be beneficial to the department and city.
“Everybody [on the force] seems to like it here, they seem to like you, Chief Shelnut, but from everything I’ve heard they just don’t like the current schedule,” Horton said. “I think this will be a positive change.”
Shelnut also told council that he expects the department to save some by making the change. He said with the new system the city can expect to pay less overtime and see fewer patrol cars on the road at a given time expending gas. Currently there are five patrol cars running at any given time in Landrum.
The new shifts could go in effect by mid-summer.
In other police business: The department gave out 44 citations in the month of April for everything from one violation of a beginner’s permit to 19 speeding violations.
Officers also made 16 criminal arrests, with four of those being for armed robbery, one for assault and battery, three for criminal domestic violence, two for public disorderly conduct, one for resisting an officer, three for simple possession of marijuana and two for trespassing.
The department carried out seven criminal investigation cases, with two related to petty larceny and one each relating to burglary, criminal sexual conduct, hit and run, malicious damage to personal property and recovery of stolen property.

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