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Wednesday, July 08, 2015

North Aurora Police Expand Shifts to 12 Hours

(NORTH AURORA) Police officers will work 12-hour shifts under a new three-year contract that the North Aurora Village Board unanimously approved Monday.

"This is definitely a win-win situation," said Village Administrator Steve Bosco. "We wanted 12-hour shifts to improve our patrol coverage, and the officers wanted them to get more flexibility and extra paid hours."

Instead of working five eight-hour shifts, or four 10-hour shifts, each week, officers will work seven 12-hour shifts every two weeks, Bosco said. While the change will require officers to put in an extra two hours of work each week, it also will guarantee that at least three officers will be on patrol at all times, with a sergeant available to back them up. Officers also will have more days off, with a three-day break every other week.

The extra two hours per officer per week also adds up to the equivalent of another full-time officer, which effectively increases the size of the police force without the cost of benefits and pension contributions, Bosco noted. North Aurora police sergeants moved to a 12-hour shift schedule in January and have reported no problems with the change, he added.

The police chief can now suspend an officer for up to 30 days instead of the previous five-day maximum, but suspended officers can appeal their punishments to an independent arbitrator instead of to the Police Board of Commissioners.

Officers received a 2 percent raise effective June 1, with 1 percent raises scheduled for each of the next two years covered by the contract.

"The pay increases are lower than average for the area, but they come on top of the automatic 5 percent pay increase created by the increase in hours," Bosco explained.

The average annual salary of a first-year officer will rise from $55,931 before the contract took effect to $61,108 effective June 1, 2017, while an officer at the top of the pay scale will see an increase from $77,667 to $84,848.

Tribune link (requires registration or subscription)

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