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Darien Police Present Staffing Report

The Darien Police Department presented staffing statistics from Aug. 1-Nov. 20 at Thursday's Police Committee meeting.

The  has saved about $43,000 so far this year on overtime pay, Deputy Chief David Skala said Thursday during the Police Committee meeting.

Skala presented a report of staffing statistics that showed the frequency with which the number of patrol officers on duty dropped below five officers between Aug. 1 and Nov. 20. The report also included an estimate of how much the department has spent and saved on overtime pay this year.

The cost for scheduled overtime is $113,200 to date for 2011. The amount of scheduled overtime is higher than normal because several officers have been on leave for various reasons, including two out for on-duty injuries and one officer on Family and Medical Leave, Skala said.

"Due to injuries, our scheduled overtime is through the roof," he said. "That's pretty much unpredictable. There were not enough officers to cover the slots to make the schedule."

As of Monday, however, three of the five total officers who have been out will be back on duty, Skala said, bringing the number of active officers up to 35.

Since mid-summer, the police department has worked with a minimum of five officers on weekends. Skala said that practice will continue at least through the holiday season. The department didn't incur additional overtime costs to staff weekends at five patrol officers during the most recent shift, which ran from Oct. 24-Nov. 20, he said.

Before the city started a trial of a reduced staffing plan in January, a minimum of five officers was required for each daily patrol shift, retired Police Chief Robert Pavelchik said when he initially explained the program. The new minimum number of patrol officers is four per shift.

Under the trial plan, if the number of on-duty patrol officers drops below five because of sick days or other reasons, Pavelchik said the department will no longer call in a fifth officer on overtime pay. The city originally hoped to save about $23,000 through the plan.

Supervising sergeants still have the discretion to call in additional officers at any time if a situation mandates more manpower.

Overtime rates are calculated at an average rate of $50 an hour. The statistics are as follows:

Shift Aug. 1-28 Aug. 29-Sept. 25 Sept. 26-Oct. 23 Oct. 24-Nov. 20 No. of shifts with four officers 19 2 22 11 Reason Sick call-ins 10 1 4 6 Comp time 4 1 9 3 Medical leave (nonduty) 0 0 8 0 Medical leave (injured on duty) 3 0 0 0 Personal days 2 0 1 1 Training 0 0 0 1 Shifts affected Midnight 2 1 7 2 Day 13 0 2 7 Afternoon 4 1 13 2 Overtime hours saved 104 8 96 48 Net overtime savings $5,050 $400 $4,800 $2,400 Net savings to date $43,425 Overtime hours for weekend coverage 104/13 24/3 64/8 0/0 Cost $5,200 $1,200 $3,200 $0 No. of shifts working with five officers 63 74 62 71 No. of shifts working with more than five officers 2 8 1 2 No. of stacked calls 1 0 1 0 Scheduled overtime hours/shifts 296/37 320/40 264/32 368/46 Cost of scheduled overtime shifts $14,800 $16,000 $13,200 $18,400 Total cost of overtime shifts to date $113,200

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