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Master Trooper

Mitch Mellick, K-381

President, Kansas State

Troopers Association

Schedules and Retirement

A new schedule

proposal has been

made by KSTA

to command staff.


Mitch can be reached at


Schedules are incredibly important in living a balanced

life. It helps to ensure that there is some order to your day.

Schedules help the human brain to plan and determine

what is truly important. As we send our children back

to school, schedules have been on many minds lately.

Webster’s Dictionary defines schedule as“a procedural plan

that indicates the time and sequence of each operation.”

Schedules are important not only in the day to day, but also

as we look beyond the windshield and plan for the horizon.

“The key is not to prioritize what's on your

schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

~ Stephen Covey

As early as June 2015, Colonel Mark Bruce stated in an agency-wide email

that “the current trooper work schedule places undue strain on our officers. This has

negative performance implications and most importantly has the potential to impact

officer safety.” The Colonel stated in this email that, within three years, he wanted to

implement a new schedule that would be better for employees. I am hoping that we are

nearing fruition of this plan as we are most certainly approaching the three-year mark.

A new schedule is something the KSTA has been working toward for quite some

time now. With the signing of our newest Memorandum of Agreement, we ensured

there was wording that allowed for shifts longer than eight hours included. We have

gathered research regarding shift work, proposed multiple different schedules, and

left the finalizing of a change in the KHPCommand Staff’s court. To date, no schedule

changes have been proposed by KHP. Recently the colonels have participated in

troop meetings across the state. During these meetings, schedule change questions

were again brought up by our members. During these meetings, there was some

confusion that ensued regarding exactly what was or wasn’t proposed by the KSTA

about schedule changes during contract negotiations, and the colonels misspoke.

Rest assured, we at the KSTA wanted to address schedule changes during our

contract talks, but the KHP preferred to wait. As part of the limited talking that KHP

would engage in, we did lay the groundwork for shifts longer than eight hours. There

seems to be renewed interest from our Command Staff, and just recently the KSTA

presented a 10-hour work schedule proposal to address sleep patterns, longer time at

work to perform duties and more time with families. This schedule also decreases the

number of days worked in a row and allows for consistent coverage on the road. This

would improve officer safety and hopefully morale.

I understand each individual is unique and their needs

for their schedule are their own. We value each member’s

input, but we recognize, we won’t make 100% of our

members happy. We will work for what the majority desires

to ensure that we can do our jobs to the best of our abilities,

as safe as possible, and find balance in our lives.

Please see the information on the next few pages for

more details on this process.

As the rest of us are contemplating what our future

schedules will look like, I would like to take this time to

remark on Master Trooper Jeff Dietz as he embarks on

his retirement. Jeff gave generously of his own schedule,

often his personal one, to help ensure that others were

taken care of. During his career, he served the KSTA

and its members in many roles. He was on numerous

committees, served on the Board of Directors for many

years, and was president as well. His contributions have

played a large role in helping the KSTA become what it is

today. We will miss you Jeff!

“The trouble with retirement is that you

never get a day off.” ~ Abe Lemons



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