Atlantic City police union members overwhelmingly approved an agreement Friday that makes way for officers to work 10-hour days, with three days off.
The vote taken was 197-54, PBA President Paul Barbere said.
Not only would it extend the workday, it will add another shift to patrol.
It was not immediately clear when the new schedule — expected to begin with patrol officers — would take effect. An Oct. 20 target date has been discussed.
The next step is for the city and union to finalize contract language, police Chief Ernest Jubilee said.
“Once that’s complete, I believe we can move forward,” he said. “I don’t see any other impediment.”
Public safety leaders have heralded the plan, which is expected to put more officers on the street during the highest call times, which happen between 2 p.m. and 2 a.m.
A study by the Washington, D.C.-based Police Foundation suggested the 10-hour day, four-day weeks would best utilize the city’s police force.
The new system would see officers divided into four shifts, rather than the current three shifts, so some rescheduling will be necessary. The news shifts would allow 16 hours of overlap within the shifts. Currently, each shift has a group that comes in early and a group that comes in late to fill the gap that would occur because the shifts have no overlap, Barbere explained.
“I’m really excited about the vote,” Jubilee said. “I was confident that, after the officers had the opportunity to look at the advantages, that they would agree that it’s the best thing for the department.”
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