With the rising demands of a successful football program, the campus police chief at Southwestern University, John Swearingen, wants to develop a two-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 size of the athletic program, especially football, has increased. The college has expanded geographically, with some new research facilities and laboratories now miles away from the main campus. Traffic and parking problems have increased.
More portable, expensive computers with high theft potential are distributed across the campus. Alcohol and drug problems have increased. The size of the surrounding community has doubled. 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-Fort Worth metroplex. During the summer months, the student population is around 5,000. This number swells to 20,000 during the 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:
Time of the day (peak time is between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.)
Day of the week (weekends are the busiest).
Weekend of the year (on football weekends, 50,000 extra people come to campus)
Special Events (check-in, check-out, commencement)
Football weekends are especially difficult to staff. Extra police service is typically needed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on five football Saturdays. All 26 officers are called in to work double shifts. More than 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 nine-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 officer is $32,000. Work-study and part-time students and local residents who help with traffic and parking are paid $12.00 an hour. Overtime is paid to police officers who work over 40 hours a week at the rate of $20.00 an hour.
Extra officers who are hired part time from outside agencies also earn $20.00 an hour. There seems to be unlimited supply of officers who will work for the college when needed for special events. With days off, vacations, and average sick leave considered, it takes five people to cover one 24-hour, seven-days-a-week positions. The schedule of officers during fall and spring semesters is:
First shift (7 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Second shift (3 p.m.-11 p.m.)
Third Shift (11 p.m.-7 a.m.)
There is staffing for football weekends and special events in addition to the preceding schedule. Summer staffing is, on average, half of the hours 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 the crime prevention, safety, or health programs. Interactions of police officers with students, faculty, and the 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.
- Which variations in demand for police services should be considered in an aggregate plan for resources? Which variations can be accomplished with short-term scheduling adjustments?
- Evaluate the current staffing plan. What does it cost? Are 26 officers sufficient to handle the normal workload?
- What would be the additional cost of the chief’s proposal? How would you suggest that he justify his request?
- How much does it currently cost the college to provide police services for football games? What would be the pros and cons of completely subcontracting this work to outside law enforcement agencies?
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