Lawrence police chief proposes 12-hour work days
FOP calls proposal 'retaliation'
Last Updated: 67 days ago
LAWRENCE, Ind. - Some officials and residents of Lawrence are voicing their concerns about proposed changes from the chief of the Lawrence Police Department.
The changes were sent to officers in an email Friday afternoon, but officials with the Fraternal Order of Police think the measures would be bad for public safety.
According to the email, the most significant change would be the requirement that Lawrence police would work 12-hour shifts.
That proposed work schedule came as a surprise to Councilor Linda Treat.
"I wouldn't want a doctor operating on me after he had been on duty for 12 hours. I definitely don't want a tired police officer out looking for a bad guy. I think it is a scary and dangerous situation," Treat said.
Citizens on the street expressed similar concerns.
"I think they would be too tired, already stressed because it’s already doing eight hours working about, it’s stressful enough. Then turn around and do another four hours? It's a hard job to be an officer," Lawrence resident Kristine Cunningham said.
Some believe the seeds of the new plan were planted after the FOP voted and declared they had no confidence in Police Chief Mike Walton.
FOP President Sgt. Tom Ashcraft said the proposal came out of nowhere and he said it looked like retaliation.
Another component to the email plan that has come under fire is the proposed use of reserve officers for a 6-hour period on Sundays.
“I believe this is a big risk for public safety. This is not going to improve public safety for Lawrence," Councilor Carl Barnett said.
"I think we definitely deserve better. We pay our taxes so we deserve to have our real officers on duty," Lawrence resident Kressin Harris said.
Captain Curtis Bigsbee said the 12-hour shift was only a proposal and has not yet been finalized.
City councilors said the changing shift would require adjustments in the budget, which has to be approved by Nov. 1.
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