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Southwestern University With the rising demands of a successful football program, the campus police chief at Southwestern University, John Swearingen, wants to develop a 2-year plan that involves a request for additional resources. The SWU department currently has 26 sworn officers. The size of the force has not changed over the past 15 years, but the following changes have prompted the chief to seek more resources:
The police need to spend more time on education and prevention programs. The college is located in Stephenville, Texas, a small town about 30 miles southwest of the Dallas/Forth Worth metroplex. During the summer months, the student population is around 5,000.
This number swells to 20,000 during fall and spring semesters. Thus demand for police and other services is significantly lower during the summer months. Demand for police services also varies by · · · to Time of day (peak time is between 10 P.M. and 2 A.M.). Day of the week (weekends are the busiest). The weekend of the year (on football weekends, 50,000 extra people come campus). Special events (check-in, checkout, commencement). Football weekends are especially difficult to staff.
Extra police services are typically needed from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.
M. on five football Saturdays, All 26 officers are called in to work double shifts. Over 40 law enforcement officers from surrounding locations are paid to come in on their own time, and a dozen state police lend a hand free of charge (when available). Twenty-five students and local residents are paid to work traffic and parking. During the last academic year (a 9-month period), overtime payments to campus police officers totaled over $120,000. Other relevant data include the following: · The average starting salary for a police office is $28,000. · Work-study and part-time students and local residents who help with traffic and parking are paid $9.00 an hour. · Overtime is paid to police officers who work over 40 hours a week at the rate of $18 an hour. Extra officers who are hired part-time from outside agencies also earn $18.00 an hour. · There seems to be an unlimited supply of offices that will work for the college when needed for special events. With days off, vacations, and average sick leave considered, it takes five persons to cover one 24-hour, 7-day-a-week position., The schedule of officers during fall and spring semesters is: Weekdays First shift (7 A.M.-3 P.M.) Second shift (3 p.M.-II P.M.) Third shift (II p.M.-7 A.M.)
Staffing for football weekends and special events. addition to the preceding schedule. Summer staffing is on average, half that shown. Swearingen thinks that his present staff is stretched to the limit. Fatigued officers are potential problems for the department and the community. In addition, neither time nor personnel has been set aside for crime prevention. safety, or health programs. Interactions of police officers with students, faculty, and staff are minimal and usually negative in nature. In light of these problems, the chief would like to request funding for four additional officers, two assigned to new programs and two to alleviate the overload on his current staff. He would also like to begin limiting overtime to 10 hours per week for each officer.
THE ANSWER OF CASE STUDY
This case provides the student with quantitative information to develop an aggregate capacity plan. but. as often occurs in services, demand is so variable that there are not many viable staffing alternatives. Students may also be frustrated by the lack of detailed data on the nature of service demand and the resources required to meet demand. Even with these drawbacks, the student should be able to gain insight into the aggregate planning problem and help the chief justify his personnel requests. Students may want to talk with the police department at their own university to see how it handles similar problems.
1. Which variations in demand for police services should be considered in an aggregate plan for resources? Which variations can be handled with short-term scheduling adjustments? An aggregate plan should set full-time staffing levels; estimate pan-time and overtime needs for budget purposes; determine times of the year for training, vacations, and other nonessential duties; and establish an agreed-upon level of police services for the university community (i.e., What role is the police officer to play? What response time to calls for service is appropriate? What services should be provided?). Short-term scheduling adjustments can be made for different days of the week., shifts, and special events.
2. Evaluate the current staffing plan. What does it cost? Are 26 officers sufficient to handle the normal workload? In what terms would you define capacity for the department? What additional information do you need to determine capacity requirements? Capacity would probably be expressed in terms of man-hours available. To determine what capacity is required, we need information on the numbers of calls for service., types of calls, how long it takes to service different types of calls, patrol expectations, and other duties such as escort services.
3. What would be the additional cost of the chiefs proposal? How would you suggest that the chief justify his request? Salary: 4 officers x $28,000 per year = $112,000 Overtime: no additional cost, as subcontracting and overtime costs are the same. To justify his proposal, the chief should point out that two positions (representing $56,(00) are needed to pursue the university’s request for more crime prevention, safety, and health programs. The other two positions could save up to $IS,720 in overtime premiums (total OT of 2,400 hours minus football game OT of 1,360 hours time $IS per hour) and are needed to maintain the desired level of police services. On a per hour basis, the salaried services are more cost effective than using overtime or subcontracting (@ $18Jhour).
How much does it currently cost the university to provide police services for football games? What would be the pros and cons of subcontracting this work completely to outside law enforcement agencies? Cost of police officers for football games: 18 officers work 8 hours overtime @ $18.00/hr 8 officers work. 16 hours overtime @ $18.00/hr 40 outside officers work 9 hours @ $18.00/hr 25 part-timers work 9 hours @ $9/br 5 football games per year Cost =[(18×8 x I8) +(8x 16 x 18)+ (40 x 9 x 18)+ (25 x9 x 9)] x 5 – [2.592 + 1,024 + 6,480 + 2,025] x 5 = [12,121] x 5 – $60,605 Subcontracting security for football games would relieve the weary campus police and allow them to perform their normal duties more effectively. However, football security is highly visible, and the absence of campus police may hurt their image in the university community and rob them of the opportunity to work closely with law enforcement personnel from agencies in a noncrisis situation. It may also be difficult for the university to maintain the same level of control over subcontracted work, especially in terms of discretionary treatment of students and alumni. In terms of cost, it is doubtful that the work could be subcontracted as cheaply as it is currently performed because the cost of supervisory and managerial personnel would have to be included in the package (and currently no supervisors or managers are paid overtime for their work).
Can you propose any other alternatives? What suggestions do you have for duties of police officers in nonpeak hours? Many of the innovative suggestions for handling the variability in demand for services involve using part-time workers. Police officers require extensive training, so this alternative usually means hiring off-duty police officers from other agencies. Under these circumstances, the hours that off-duty officers can moonlight are limited, and, except for football Saturdays, may be hard to schedule (i.e., all part-time agencies are busy at
the same time). Another way to handle part-time or seasonal requirements for work. is to find complementary work for the full-time employees that follows a different demand pattern. In this case, the nonpeak period for police services falls during the summer months. What other university services increase during those months? Perhaps the idled officers could be used as campus guides during summer orientation. as aides for the summer camps and other summer programs held on campus, or as part of the grounds crew. At least one small private college utilizes its police officers in this expanded fashion. It certainly increases the officers’ involvement with the university community.
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