Staffing Coverage and Overtime Civilian employees The percent of civilian employees in the Public Safety departments is relatively low with the majority of the civilians residing in the Police Department because of the Communications Center/Dispatch section and the Records and ID section. Both of these sections require 24/7 staffing as the result of 911 call-taking/dispatching and the state mandates related to fingerprinting and arrest processing which is included in the Records section responsibilities. In addition, police service representatives who staff the front desks at police substations are scheduled 24/7. The Airport also has some requirements for 24/7 coverage, and Street and Fleet schedule extended hours of coverage as needed to meet environmental conditions. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the regulations pertaining to civilian employees are similar to those in the private sector. There are no limits regarding the hours worked in the defined work day period, but after the completion of the 40th hour of work within a seven-day work period, additional work time must be paid at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate. In the public sector, FLSA allows employees to elect accrual of 1.5 hours of compensatory time in lieu of paid overtime. The City of Colorado Springs does not pay double time for any hours worked by either civilian or sworn employees. Double time is not required by State or Federal law. Sworn employees The Fire and Police Departments use sophisticated computerized staffing models that provide efficient staffing and control operational costs. The staffing models are essential aids in maximizing the return on the investment in personnel. At the same time, the calculations must take into account the specific exceptions under FLSA for sworn Police and Fire that govern the length of the work cycle (up to 28 days), the number of hours that may be worked during the established cycle, and the calculation of overtime pay. The Police Department currently uses a 14-day FLSA cycle, with patrol officers scheduled to work four 10-hour days per week. In this scenario, FLSA requires that hours worked in excess of 80 in the 14-day cycle must be paid at time and half. The Colorado Springs Police Department uses StaffWizard, a software package from Corona Solutions, to determine patrol staffing calculations for the four patrol substations. StaffWizard utilizes call for service data, geographical information (square miles per division and street miles contained within a division), and other data points that are entered by the user. The historical call for service data is analyzed in regard to the priority of the calls for service, how many officers responded to the calls, and how long officers were assigned to the calls for service. The data is also analyzed in regard to the day of the week of occurrence, time of day of occurrence, and location of occurrence. Based on the factors analyzed by StaffWizard, the software will provide optimized staffing information. This is a two-step process. The first step allocates optimized staffing numbers to each division. The second step allocates optimized staffing levels for each day of the week and each hour of the day. The Police Department has experimented with several different staffing models which varied shift length and days off. After years of experience with various different models, Command Staff believes the current configuration maximizes efficiency, officer safety, and employee morale. In regard to non-patrol functions, such as homicide, sexual assault, vice and narcotics, the staffing pattern varies based on historical workload and investigative need. It should also be noted that due to the nature of police work, officers are frequently required to incur overtime to complete a call for service or investigation that began prior to shift end. The Fire Department station personnel work 24-hour shifts, which have been shown in numerous studies, as well as internal analyses, to provide the most cost-effective coverage. The FLSA work cycle for sworn Fire employees is 27 days, which results in an average work week of 56 hours. Within the 27-day cycle sworn Fire personnel are scheduled to work 216 hours, which exceeds the number of hours allowed at regular pay under FLSA by 12 hours. Since employees in the city are salaried, and FLSA allows organizations to set the work hours of salaried employee, the salary covers the regular pay for the full 216 hours. To be compliant with the law, the city pays an additional “half-time,” that is, half the hourly rate for the last 12 hours of the 216 hours, bringing the pay for those hours up to time and a half. The Fire Department maintains a minimum daily staffing level daily in the fire stations. Cost analyses have shown that the cost of filling one position in Operations for a year with an employee who receives benefits and must be trained, outfitted, and allowed vacation and sick time is equal to the cost of filling one position for a year using overtime. Repeated analyses have shown that it is less expensive for the Fire Department to use overtime to maintain minimum staffing than to maintain a higher number of employees on the payroll to cover absences. When more employees than necessary report for duty on a given day, it is not possible to send them home and recoup the cost. Therefore, the Fire Department has allowed its number of sworn personnel to fall in recent years and relies more on overtime to achieve minimum daily staffing. Special Overtime Special overtime is overtime worked at special events such as parades. City Council has designated several annual events as “City sponsored events”, which means that 100% of the cost for these events is absorbed by the City. Approximately 10-15% of the City’s annual events are City-sponsored. If an event organizer for a non-City sponsored event is a non-profit, the organizer is only required to reimburse the City for 50% of the related City services. The remaining costs for these events are absorbed by the City. If the event organizer is a for profit organization, then the reimbursement rate is 100%; however, the number of events in this category each year is less than 1% of the total. Extra Duty Police Department - The Police Department offers security services for private entities and the program is cost neutral. Each officer is paid a flat dollar amount per hour and the entity reimburses the City for that expense. The work is considered outside voluntary employment which is scheduled by the City and is not considered overtime. Many police departments have such a practice as the demand for off-duty officers is high. Fire Department - When agencies, businesses, or other organizations require special fire services that are not routinely provided, they may contract with the Fire Department for the services. These contracted services are called “extra duty” assignments for department personnel. The outside organizations pay the Fire Department for the services, and the Fire Department then pays the personnel who perform the work. Civilian fire code personnel may sign up on a voluntary basis to perform the extra duty work outside of their regular work schedules. On occasion, uniformed personnel may also work extra duty assignments. Longevity Longevity pay is an additional pay which a sworn employee receives beginning with the sixth year of Civil Service employment. It starts at $20 per month and increases by $4 per month for each subsequent year of employment until a maximum of $100 per month is reached. Third Week Sworn employees working a 40-hour week, who have been employed ten years or more, may give up to one week of accrued vacation and receive its value in cash. It is called “third week” pay because the City issues pay every two weeks. So in the pay cycle in which an employee elects to receive the one week’s pay in lieu of vacation, the pay received is for three weeks. Fire employees working a 56-hour week are eligible for third week pay after ten years of service. However, because Fire’s rate of vacation accrual for 56-hour employees is constant over the employees’ years of service (rather than increasing with years of service), Fire employees who are eligible for third week pay do not have vacation time deducted when they receive the pay. If the committee has questions, Ann Crossey, Human Resources Director (385-5117), would be glad to meet with individuals or the full committee. If needed, Sue Autry from Police and Nina Rikoski from Fire could provide additional details about staffing and scheduling in those departments. Information on scheduling and pay practices may be found in the Sworn Personnel Policies Manual under Policy and Procedures, specifically Policy #3 Overtime and Policy and Procedure #2 Work Schedule.