Triad police departments adjust schedules to deal with staffing shortages

North Carolina

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — In the new year with new incentives, Triad law enforcement agencies hope to turn around the shortage of staff that many continue to face.  

The pandemic, fatigue, and burnout have created a space where police departments and sheriff’s offices continue to struggle to entice people to sign up and for current officers of the law to stay on longer.  

The High Point Police Department has begun to work on new incentives to get recruits through their doors.  

In the meantime, the department has added a complete overtime schedule that has added two additional officers to help cover the hours where the most calls happen.  

That includes:  

  • 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.  
  • 4 a.m. to 12 p.m.  

The highest call volumes happened around 3 p.m., 8 p.m., and overnights where staffing is minimal.  

“With that third shift, if something happens, then they have to hold it and wait for people to come in if something major happens. I want to make sure they have enough people to function,” said Deputy Chief Anthro Gamble.

He said the additional officers during those times have been able to relieve some of the pressure felt.

Greensboro police have also begun to heavily advertise new incentives for the new year. 

The department is working to pass a “take-home” patrol car policy, higher wages for those who work the overnight hours when a crime is most likely to happen, and better benefits if an individual is bilingual. 

Lexington police have approved overtime hours but have not had to use it despite the department needing roughly five additional sworn officers.

While the incentives are expected to attract some individuals, they will not immediately solve the problem.  

High Point Police Chief Travis Stroud said it will take at least a year before recruits are able to patrol the streets.  

“We will not be out of this staffing shortage for the next three years. I anticipate that I will probably be retired before we actually come out of the staffing shortage,” he said.

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