LISBON – The Lisbon Village Council has discussed proposed updates to the overtime and overtime policy procedure for the police department and Chief Constable Mike Abraham has suggested hiring a new officer to help manage change costs.
Councilor and chair of the finance committee, Melissa Hiner, explained the proposed changes to the council on Tuesday. “We’re removing compensation time and instead of compensation time for the police department, we’re going to give them paid time off for vacation instead of paid time off for vacation, whether they’re working or not,” she says.
According to the personnel policy of the village, all employees receive the benefit of being paid 80 hours, 10 paid holidays.
Hiner said they proposed that if the police worked 10-hour shifts, their 10-hour days equaled 100 hours. “On January 1, you give them 100 hours, you no longer pay them for holidays not worked, and instead they receive two and a half times, being paid on the holiday for holidays every day and holidays and half”, Hiner said, and added that they would only be paid time and a half to work during the holidays. “It would be part of their 40 hours,” she says. “At the end of the year, if they don’t use their vacation time, it’s wasted and it’s wasted. It’s not working time. We don’t have to pay that. »
Police Chief Mike Abraham said the proposed change could make operations difficult for the police department. He said he has a roster of 17 players and he has 12 right now, full-time and part-time. “I have 10 full-time people and I have two part-timers who have other jobs,” said Abraham. “I can’t get part-time now. Nobody can. There are a lot of places that can’t even have full-time employees. Everyone is struggling, everyone is running out.
Abraham said covering the holidays would be a test for the department. “There are people who already have holidays on the books so they want all of that gone and I have to cover their holidays as is,” he said. “I have 15 weeks just in the first three people I have to cover for holidays for a year. We are all five weeks old. I have another who is next, he is three weeks old.
Abraham said that’s 18 weeks of vacation, and that’s not where it ends. “And everyone below him, so there are four people, so the rest of them, to get my 10s, all have two weeks. Add all that time together and I’m supposed to get rid of this vacation here because they can only reschedule it for a week.
Abraham said to cover that without adequate staff, overtime costs would skyrocket. His proposed solution is to hire another full-time agent which he thinks would save money. “When you pay an officer, even at the maximum, he earns $22 an hour,” he said. “So for someone working all these shifts in my schedule next month with two people on vacation, I had 15 holes, I think I’m down to 13 now, but those are all overtime.” said Abraham. “This guy is going to make $31 or $32 an hour if I just patrol someone who comes in and works for $21 or $22 an hour.”
Mayor Peter Wilson asked at the meeting for the option of returning to eight-hour shifts rather than 10-hour shifts. Abraham said the idea would lead to less police coverage in the village and result in officers having four-hour shifts where they work alone and without backup. “I don’t have the cover to back them up or anything and I’m not willing to sacrifice that for the safety of the officers,” he said.
Ideally, hiring a new officer would also help provide daytime coverage, Abraham said. He said that while he prefers to work in the field, his job often means he has to work from his desk. “This office is driving me crazy and I want to work on the streets, but with everything I have, that’s not happening.” he said, and added that the lieutenant also does all case investigations during the day. He said a day office could benefit the village financially. “Our presence in the street, during the day, we are the only two people here”, said Abraham. “We also really need this officer during the day. He can be out there doing traffic in the day and things like that… he actually makes us money if he does traffic control because we make about $20,000 a year through fines.
Abraham said he believes hiring another officer is the best way to address possible issues with this policy change, but that will depend on what the board ultimately decides. “I’m all about change, but I also have to sit down and watch my budget,” he said. “To cover all that vacation time, it’s going to cost me… a ton of overtime,” said Abraham. “There is a cost with this, so just know my budget is going to eat a lot of it.”