Tuesday, October 2, 2001
Consultant Tells Panel Flexible LAPD Work Schedule Should Be Delayed
By KIMBERLY EDDS, Staff Writer
The City Council’s outside consultant studying flexible work schedules called yesterday for a delay in starting the Los Angeles Police Department’s compressed workweek to give everyone a chance to better understand the plan and its impact.
George Sullivan, director of Police Management Advisors, told the council’s Public Safety Committee that Mayor James Hahn’s plan should be put off for at least 28 more days—one full deployment period.
Hahn’s plan, which was approved by the Police Commission last week, includes a target implementation date of Oct. 20 for Central and Hollywood, the first two of the LAPD’s 18 divisions.
The next deployment period would not begin until Nov. 17, one week after a council-ordered impact study by PMA on flexible work schedules is due.
“It is my recommendation that you enter into any plan with your eyes wide open, understanding all the costs and impacts, and accepting all the costs and impacts,” Sullivan said.
“Before the first person is assigned to a new shift, whatever that is, the policy makers need to have all the facts,” he said.
The committee yesterday voted unanimously to alter PMA’s contract to allow the group to help the Police Commission fine-tune Hahn’s compressed work schedule, which combines 8-, 10-, and 12-hour shifts.
If approved by the full City Council, PMA would work with the commission’s Ad Hoc Committee on Flexible Work Schedules as an advisor.
Adena Tessler, legislative deputy for Public Safety Committee Chair Cindy Miscikowski, said she is trying to put the contract amendment on a special agenda for Wednesday.
The panel, headed by Police Commission Vice President Rose Ochi, also includes Commissioner Silvia Saucedo, representatives from Hahn’s and Police Chief Bernard Parks’ offices, and Miscikowski.
The city’s chief legislative analyst and city administrative officer are also represented on the panel.
Miscikowski said the vote to amend PMA’s contract was a was a first step of good faith by the council.
“This is a sign of our willingness to work [with the commission],” Miscikowski said.
Councilman Jack Weiss also welcomed a combined effort on the plan, saying some of the plans which PMA are studying aren’t realistically going to be on presented as a plan for the LAPD and it is better to get all the parties together and look at what is being presented.
“The best way to accomplish our goals is to have all the parties working together,” Weiss said.
The Police Commission voted 4-1 last week to implement the plan, but asked the council to shift PMA’s attention towards helping to implement the plan, since the group has already been studying the concept of a flexible work schedule.
Sullivan was unclear whether PMA would be able to complete the council-ordered study by the Nov. 10 deadline if also required to study and advise the commission on Hahn’s plan.
Sullivan first told the committee that PMA would not realistically be able to do both studies at the same time, and a vote to amend the contract would push back the council-ordered study a month.
But Councilman Nick Pacheco objected, saying he wanted to have the council study before he analyzed any plan.
“I’m being asked to sacrifice to assist the commission to do the mayor’s work,” Councilman Nick Pacheco said. “I want my council motion done.”
Sullivan then said PMA is “willing and enthusiastic about working with this workgroup or any workgroup to come up with a plan that’s going to benefit the entire city.”
Sullivan also told the committee that he had seen Hahn’ s proposed plan, but that there were several details left out of the plan that needed to be answered before it could be properly analyzed.
More information is needed on the acceptable ratio of field supervisors, how the compressed work schedule shifts were going to be assigned, and how the basic cars are going to be staffed, in addition to other questions, Sullivan said.
He also expressed concern over the amount of roll call time and meal time that is being proposed, with officers on 12-hour shifts having less allotted meal time than officers on 8-hour shifts.
“People still need break time,” Sullivan said. “They are not machines who work non-stop at 100 percent.”
Sullivan will report back to the committee Oct. 15 on the status of the council report.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company