Long shifts raise concerns for law enforcement

Capital News Service
LANSING — Although many police officers enjoy the perks of a 12-hour shift, this popular schedule may not be what’s best for officer safety and for the communities they serve, a law enforcement leader says. In many health and public safety jobs — police, firefighters, doctors and nurses — someone has to be on the job 24 hours a day. Such “shift work” is regularly divided into 10- or 12-hour shifts, often to save money. Twelve-hour shifts result in officers working 84 hours every two weeks, instead of 80 hours, said Robert Stevenson, executive director for the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. This means fewer employees, which saves on health and insurance benefits.

Legislation would allow nuclear power plant guards to use deadly force to deter terrorists

Capital News Service
LANSING — Nuclear power plant security guards have no more authority to use force than civilians. But lawmakers have introduced bills in the House and Senate to change that by allowing them to use deadly and non-deadly force within reason. “It would allow them, in specific situations that they deem necessary, to use force to remove someone from a power plant,” said, Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, the primary sponsor for the House bill. “This is not something where security officers will be able to shoot protestors. It is to prevent terrorists from coming to the door of a nuclear power plant.”

Nuclear plant security officers can only use force now to prevent imminent death but this law would give them the same authority as a police officer, said Terrence Jungel, Michigan Sheriffs’ Association executive director.

Officials split over proposal for more cops

Capital News Service
LANSING – Local officials are divided over a proposal to use $140 million of the state’s budget surplus to put 1,000 new cops and deputies on the street. Mason County Undersheriff Tom Trenner said the addition of officers is a positive thing, especially in such tough economic times. Trenner also said that with local departments depleted, there is a demand for more officers. He said the cuts to revenue sharing have slowed officers’ response time to reported crimes, making the public less safe. However, Attorney Gen. Bill Schuette’s initiative — $140 million investment for 1,000 cops over a two-year span — has its critics as well.