How the current scheduling works: Officers work seven 10-hour morning shifts followed by six days off, seven 10-hour evening shifts followed by five days off, and seven eight-hour midnight shifts followed by three days off.
Number of days officers work under current 35-day cycle: 21
Number of days officers are off: 14
The drawback: huge overtime costs, accounting on average for $30 million a year
How scheduling recently nixed by the police union would work:
Officers work two 11 1/2-hour day shifts, followed by two 11 1/2-hour night shifts, followed by four days off.
The benefits: Reduced overlapping; about 20 per cent fewer officers need to be on duty at any one time.
Why the Toronto police union doesn't like the idea:
Officers can't spend as much time at home on days they're working
Fewer total days off in the year
Amount longer-shift scheduling would save the city:
"Significant millions," according to costings undertaken by the city's budget committee
What budget chief David Soknacki, says: "For us to be told we can't look at new ways of doing things is frustrating. Demographics have changed, the number of divisions have changed, the goals for policing have changed and the technology has changed. But the police continue to operate on the same strategic plan they've had for well over a decade."
What police union boss Rick McIntosh says: "The problem is that we experience burnout working these kinds of hours. It's not like at the end of the day you've worked your hours and you go home. Our guys have court, they work overtime, they miss lunch hours. It's too much. I'm not sure much money would be saved. We're short all over." Missing in action
Problem with the way police are currently being deployed:
The same number of officers are working morning, afternoon and night shifts, even though peak crime times vary.
An added problem:
Although more officers tend to be stationed in areas with a higher overall rate of crime, they're not necessarily stationed where there's a higher incidence of serious crime.
There never seems to be enough money for police, even though a whopping 87.5 per cent of the total police budget goes to officer salaries and benefits.
-What police are requesting this year: $690 million ($53.6 million more than last year)
-Salary increase for police this year that city agreed to in contract negotiated three years ago: $32 million
-What the city plans to propose to reduce policing costs: Tiered benefits and shift system based on officer seniority
Crying wolf on crime
Police say crime is up. Their own stats say different.
Crimes in which there has been an overall decrease:
Violent crime: 5 per cent
Sexual assaults: 2 per cent
Non-sexual assaults: 5 per cent
Major assaults: 4 per cent
Minor assaults: 5 per cent
Robbery: 6.5 per cent
Drug-related crime: 2 per cent
Crimes in which there has been an overall increase
Property crime: 1 per cent
Homicide: 7.6 per cent (65 in 2003 versus 60 homicides in each of the three previous years)
Homicides cleared: 70 per cent
Robberies cleared: 35 per cent
Break and enters cleared: 17 per cent
Sexual assaults cleared: 80 per cent
Total public complaints against police: 704
Total withdrawn: 130
Total informally resolved: 106
Total deemed frivolous: 142
Total alleging discreditable conduct or neglect of duty: 195
Total alleging unlawful or excessive use of authority: 287
Total misconduct identified or referred to formal hearing: 0
*all stats 2002, unless otherwise indicated