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KSTA Members,

As some of you may know, there has recently been considerable

discussion between the Kansas State Troopers’ Association (KSTA)

and the Patrol’s senior administrative staff regarding the schedule

that road personnel are currently assigned. This has long been

an area identified as being in critical need of improvement, and

it is possibly the single greatest complaint that KSTA leadership

receives from our members. The current schedule has sworn

personnel working a week or longer with no break, and, to be

concise, is unsafe. Some employees are forced to work as much as

80 hours with no reprieve from the daily stresses that our careers

impose upon us, not including overtime. In many areas of the

state, it leaves huge gaps in coverage while we work so hard to

quell the increase in fatality crashes. It’s also embarrassing. How

many of you have been teased by officers from other agencies

for having to work over a week in a row with nothing that even

resembles a healthy sleep schedule? I know I have. The members

and leadership of your Association are not alone in believing that

we deserve something better. 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. His transparency on

the issue was refreshing and encouraging at the time, but sadly

the conversation soon lost momentum, and we’ve continued to

do business as usual ever since.

Whilewe know in an agency this size that

every

trooper will hardly

ever agree on an issue, there is no excuse for not seeking out

somethingbetter and tryingnew

ideas.We

fully support Col. Bruce

and Lt. Col. Moon in their position

that we can never stop improving,

and we can never be satisfied with

the status quo. The KSTA recently

reminded the Colonels of our lack

of progress on the schedule, and

we’re glad to say that they have

shown impressive enthusiasm

and openness while listening to

us on multiple occasions since.

In that light, I am proud to have

been a part of an active project

over the last three years to find

a solution. Beginning in 2014,

Master Trooper Chris Markham

and I (Master Trooper Sage HIll)

Letter to KSTA Members - 9/20/17

initiated an organized effort to explore scheduling options that

could be mutually beneficial for those tasked with working the

road, and the Patrol itself. We consulted with dozens of different

agencies, countless scientific studies and findings, and many of

you. We sought input from troopers ranging in experience from

those still in field training, all the way up to salty old road guys,

and even supervision. In return, we received sensible direction

and suggestions that led us to what we firmly believe is the

“something better”we were searching so hard for. This is just one

idea, but it’s the one we’ve seen with the most solid foundation,

and it’s the one we have urged the Colonels to consider.

The solution we found was a Compressed Work Week, or CWW,

consisting of a seven-week rotation of 10-hour shifts. Research

quickly led us to believe that the Patrol was egregiously behind

the times in having never explored a CWW format, as most large

agencies found out decades ago the value of moving away from

standard work weeks consisting of 8-hour days. In exploring

different options and seeking help from a number of different

people, we found a rotation that met all the requirements of the

agency (SHARPS, “coverage,” etc.) and what we wanted to see as

troopers (more days off, more weekends off, better rest schedules,

equality among all personnel, etc.)

To dramatically understate things, it’s difficult to put three years

of research and hard work into an hour-long presentation. It’s

harder than that, even, to shave it down even more in order to

explain the potential benefits in a single article or email. That

won’t keep us from trying, though. To illustrate how it could

work and just some of the benefits that are in stark contrast to

what we’re working now, we included a couple of images from

the presentation recently utilized to inform the KSTA Board of

Directors and KHP’s senior staff:

Admittedly, there are a couple people who, at face value alone,

don’t like the sound of working 10 hours versus eight. Having

said that, very few people have been opposed to the proposed

schedule format after allowing us to explain how it would

work. We would encourage members to think large-scale

about the potential positive implications of a new schedule

such as this. As previously stated, we understand that we’re

not

all

going to agree on much - whether it’s what gun we

should carry, which patrol cars are the best, what uniforms we

should wear, or what schedule we should work. Unarguably,

though, options are good. Change can be good. Progress

is

good. And most of the membership does, in fact, oppose the

schedule we are currently working. (The employee satisfaction

survey proctored by KU in 2014/2015 revealed that employees

identified the schedule as a source of contention far greater

than even hot topics such as Colonel Garcia and the tattoo

policy.) Think about what 45 extra days off per year -and five

extra weekends off per year- would look like for your family.

Please accept this as an invitation to seek out additional

information, whether you are for or against this project. If any

of you have questions, or would like additional information,

please feel free to reach out to KSTA President Mitch Mellick,

KSTA Secretary Sage Hill or Chris Markham. This can be done

via email, or by coming to the next KSTA meeting.

Our email addresses are as follows:

Mitch Mellick:

president@kstroopers.com

Sage Hill:

secretary@kstroopers.com

Chris Markham:

markham.183@gmail.com

Current Schedule:

• Rarely a common day where shifts work

together on double-coverage (Thurs.)

• No/very little shift overlap

• Gaps during peak times

• 2 days off every week

• 4 days off in 2 week cycle

• Appx. 108 days off annually

• 7/8 day work weeks

• 17 weekends off a year

• 8 hours to complete patrol

responsibilities

Proposed Schedule:

• Regular common days where shifts work

together on double-coverage

• Daily overlap of 1-6+ hours

• No gaps during peak times

• 3 days off every week

• 6 days off in 2 week cycle

• 156 days off annually

• 4 and 5 day work weeks

• 22 weekends off a year

• 10 hours to complete patrol

responsibilities

Comparison

Off: Monday - Wednesday (3 off)

Work: Thursday - Monday (5 on)

Off: Tuesday - Thursday (3 off)

Work: Friday - Tuesday (5 on)

Off: Wednesday - Friday (3 off)

Work: Saturday - Wednesday (5 on)

Off: Thursday - Sunday (4 off)

Work: Monday - Thursday (4 on)

Off: Friday - Monday (4 off)

Work: Tuesday - Friday (4 on)

Off: Saturday - Tuesday (4 off)

Work: Wednesday - Sunday (5 on)

Shift Rotation:

Brad Walter

PO Box 100

706 W. Deal Ave.

Sublette, KS 67877

Office: 620-675-2441

Fax: 620-675-8105

flatlandtransport@yahoo.com

Group 1

Group 3

s m t

w th f

s s m t

w th f

s

s m t

w th f

s s m t

w th f

s

Week 1-2

X X X

X X X

X X X

X X X

Week 3-4

X X X

X X X

X X X

X X X

Week 5-6

X X X X

X X

X X X X

X X

Week 7-8

X X

X X X X

X X

X X X X

Week 9-10

X X X

X X X

X X X

X X X

Week 11-12

X X X

X X X

X X X

X X X

Week 13-14

X

X X X X

X

X

X X X X

X

Group 2

Group 4

Week 1-2

X X X X

X X

X X X X

X X

Week 3-4

X X

X X X X

X X

X X X X

Week 5-6

X X X

X X X

X X X

X X X

Week 7-8

X X X

X X X

X X X

X X X

Week 9-10

X

X X X X

X

X

X X X X

X

Week 11-12

X X X

X X X

X X X

X X X

Week 13-14

X X X

X X X

X X X

X X X

The Rotation

Kansas Trooper

ı

7

Fall 2017

6

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Kansas Trooper

Fall 2017