University Police officers are now required to complete 12-hour shifts, instead of the previous eight-hour shifts due to the loss of four officers to retirement earlier this semester.
Chief of Police Cynthia Adam said the officers would not be replaced until January, when they complete their training at the police academy. Until those officers come to Oswego State the increase in hours is "just a stop-gap measure, Adam said.
She said that increasing shift hours is beneficial to the officers and campus as a whole. Instead of dealing with overtime hours and the possibility of being called in on short notice, officers now have regular schedules. The campus remains safe as well because the same number of officers will always be on duty. Shifts now run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"It really is a win-win for everybody," Adam said. "It’s an inexpensive way to keep the department working."
Nick Lyons, vice president for administration at Oswego State, said that although expense did play a role in the decision to increase shift hours, it was not the main reason.
"It’s always nice to save money," Lyons said, "but this just worked out better from a scheduling standpoint."
He said when four new officers, who have already been hired and are currently in training, finally come to Oswego State, U.P. will continue to operate on 12-hour shifts.
Adam added that the officers would need to undergo field training on campus for a number of weeks before they can do the job on their own. At that time, she and Lyons said U.P. may transfer back to having eight-hour shifts.
"We’ll see how it goes," Adam said. "Safety and security are a very top priority."
The department will look at how well the new officers work on campus, and make a decision later on.
"Some of [the new officers] are officers who went to school here, and that’s a plus," Adam said. She expects they will be a good fit because they know the campus and understand what it is like to be an Oswego student.
"They know the campus, and love the campus," Adam said.
In the meantime, Lyons said current U.P. officers have been supportive of the change in hours.
"I think they know what the expectation is," Lyons said. "The officers have been great about it."