Amarillo Police Department Extends Shifts to 10 Hours

Amarillo Police Officers voice concerns tonight about the department changing their shifts to ten hours at a time.

Right now patrol officers work eight hour shifts... But sometimes those turn into ten hours because they get caught up in a call and work beyond their shift..

So now that officer's shifts are moving to ten hours... Some fear they could work 12 hours or more.

Cpl. Cortez is among those who voted against the shift change for several reasons.

"Safety, health, medical. Working ten hours on paper.. And then am I going to still have to work overtime on top of that, an extra hour for calling in reports or whatever."

Some of her colleagues supported the idea because one perk in particular.

Sgt. Brent Barbee, with APD says, "The one thing that we definitely brought up was the moral factor. I think that a lot of the officers favored having four days on and three days off."

The concern is shifts will run over if the officer is called out towards the end of their shift.

Sgt. Barbee says, "It happens commonly right now, that officers will be at the end of their shifts and they will get calls that result in 10 or 12 hour shifts, however field supervisors and division commanders are very aware of the situation as far as fatigue and they try to arrange for relief for officers as quickly as possible."

Cpl. Cortez says she's more concerned about lunch and bathroom breaks than she is about being fatigued on a call.

"I don't think tiredness has ever come into the picture. As far as I am concerned." Cpl. Cortez.

The change goes into effect on January 1st.