Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee is touting plans for 12-hour patrol shifts, a move he says will cut costs while keeping more officers on the street, the Detroit News reports. The city’s police union is criticizing the decision to extend hours and warns it’ll be detrimental to officers and the public. Godbee said the shift changes will affect about 1,500 patrol officers and aim to get more “boots on the ground” and provide adequate support and backup. The announcement came one day after the City Council rejected a request to put a $56 million tax increase on the November ballot to raise funds for more police protection.
“These are extraordinary times,” Godbee said, adding it was “unfortunate” that the council didn’t vote to put the measure before residents. “As chief of police, I’ve got to deliver police service.” Godbee said the new shift configuration will be in place for one year and is expected to cut overtime costs and give officers more days off each month. Joe Duncan, president of the Detroit Police Officer Association, said working eight hours is already tough enough. “We’re not talking about Mayberry here; we’re talking about one of the most dangerous places in America,” he said. “I don’t think anybody can do 12 hours in the city of Detroit. Not with the crime; it’s constant. It’s a disservice to the officers themselves and to residents.”