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City Approves Changes For Police Department

By Staff | Dec 11, 2008

Emmetsburg Police officers will work 160 hours instead of 170 hours in a 28-day work period and receive overtime compensation. This change becomes effective with the new budget year July 1, 2009.

Monday night, City Council representatives adopted a resolution to revise the personnel policy manual to account for the change for the police department. The change was explained at a previous meeting by Police Sergeant Ryan Veldboom and Police Chief Eric Hanson. Officers requested the change from an eight and one-half hour shift, to an eight hour shift; officers would then work 160 hours instead of the 170 hours they currently work. At the previous meeting, Veldboom explained that the officers do not receive compensation until they have worked 171 hours, therefore they have to donate one hour of time back.

Officers had originally requested that the change go into effect Jan. 1, 2008. At Monday night’s meeting, City Administrator John Bird had suggested that the change in work schedule be considered during the budget process. He noted that the delay would give the city time to check with other cities to find out how Emmetsburg’s work schedule and officer compensation packages compare to others. Information from the League of Cities on wage and salary would be available soon.

Councilman Pat Degen thought it prudent to get information from the League of cities.

“That’s the information I wanted in May or June, but it couldn’t be done,” said Council Representative Sandy Pelzer. “Why put it off until budget time? I’m not sure it’s necessary. We’ve done I before for other personnel.”

Veldboom said the officers would be willing to make it effective July 1, 2009, which is the beginning of the new fiscal year.

“We’ve lived with it this long, if it would help move this forward we could make it effective with the new budget year,” Veldboom told the council.

The amended resolution was unanimously approved by the council, recognized that the Police Officers work hours will decrease from 170 to 160 hours in a 28 day work periods with overtime compensation to be paid immediately following the 160 hours. The Personnel Policy Manual was changed in Wage and Hour Regulation, Article B Non-Exempt, paragraph two: “In the case of the Police Departments, which are treated differently under the Act, each employee must be compensated for time worked in excess of 160 hours, in any consecutive 28 day work period at a rate of one and one-half times the regular rate.” The amendments to the Personnel Policy Manual will be effective July 1, 2009.

“We will still be working the same amount of hours and giving the same protection,” Veldboom told the council.