Public safety is an increasingly alarming issue facing many cities and states. In a recent article from CNN, “Police departments from Atlanta to Kansas City to Portland are coping with critical staffing shortages and struggling to fill their ranks from patrol officers to 911 operators” to cope with “bursts of violence in many parts of the United States.”
And, It’s not just police departments that are riding this chaotic wave. A recent report said that other government agencies such as corrections, juvenile services, and veterans affairs who work in facilities that operate around the clock are short over 500,000 jobs. Bringing chaos to crisis for public safety agencies that operate around the clock. Reports also included accounts of forced overtime and 80-hour work weeks, accompanied by stress-induced depression, health problems, and family and marital difficulties. Which has a detrimental effect on being able for these people to perform adequately in their roles, as we need them to.
This fire’s flame is being accelerated by issues ranging from staff shortages to an aging workforce. And it’s costing everyone.
Public Safety Overtime Costs are High
Most recently, the San Francisco Police Department reported a 121 percent increase in police overtime year over year due to staffing shortages London Breed recently announced a proposal to request an additional $27M to fund police overtime stating, “We have been working hard to address serious public safety challenges in San Francisco, but we need our officers out on the street.”
“The SFPD–and police agencies nationwide–are facing a staffing crisis that does not relieve us of our duty to protect the people of San Francisco,” said San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott in the news release.
Getting Chaos Under Control
Luckily, there is a way to get this situation under control, without having to revert to requests for tens of millions of additional funding and continuing to put the public’s safety at risk. It’s taking on new strategies in the form of technology. More specifically, a scheduling software Indeavor Operate.
Being able to control a situation as serious as public safety that’s compounded by issues related to staffing, overtime costs, employee health, and engagement doesn’t require enormous budgets or “creative solutions.” It requires tackling the problem from the start with technology to aid in building the correct schedule.
Through the implementation and adoption of Indeavor Operate, a software designed to create schedules through the automation of complex variables, elimination of human error, and providing analytics and data used to plan and operate more efficiently, customers are able to realize a multitude of benefits.
Within one large government agency, with 8,000+ employees, 15 different union groups had overtime hours overrun by 69% compared to only 2%, just three years post-implementation. The cost savings don’t end there. This same organization was also able to see benefits by reducing fines of $8M.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning the health of these workers is also vital to public safety. As we need these critical roles to continue to operate – so is the need to provide flexibility as an essential to stave off staff shortages, and attract and retain employees. Through Indeavor’s mobile app, Engage, employees are able to be more engaged with their schedules while still ensuring staff is allocated proper amounts of leave.