Gannet News Services ran an article in today’s Asbury Park Press that discussed how the New Jersey Department of Corrections saved 2.6 million dollars in overtime spending by slightly "tinkering" with the Department’s overtime policies.  As all corrections officers and supervisory personnel are aware, the minor tinkering that is discussed in the article is what is commonly referred to as "shift overlap".  For the readers that are not familiar with the concept of shift overlap, shift overlap is a brief period of time where two officers man a single post at shift change so that information can be passed between personnel regarding the previous tour of duty, and any unusual or unsafe circumstances that need to looked after.  Needless to say, shift overlap is paramount to the safety of uniformed public safety officers working in our prison systems.

Shift overlap is vitally important to the safety of corrections personnel.  So the question becomes–is ten minutes of shift overlap enough?  Many officers and supervisory personnel that walk the tiers of the prisons on a daily basis make a good argument that ten minutes is not enough.   However ten minutes is certainly better than nothing.  What we need to be concerned about at this time is when the next cut in shift overlap is going to be proposed.  The politicians in Trenton are ignorant regarding the safe operation of a correctional facility.  Eliminating shift overlap in its entirety will save the state another five million plus in overtime costs.  However the safety of our public safety officers will be severely compromised.  No amount of savings is worth such a risk.  

To access the Asbury Park Press article follow the link below.

Asbury Park Press Overtime Article

Continually fighting for your rights and safety–Frank M. Crivelli.