The Mono County Sheriff’s Department will be cutting back on patrol hours from 18 to 12 a day. This means operating hours will be noon to midnight, seven days a week. These hours were chosen because they have historically had the highest rate of calls for service.
The reduction in hours is due to a lack of personnel. There is overtime pay available, but people need time off to work effectively. There are funds to keep the current lineup on the streets with overtime and administration and the Undersheriff and Sheriff doing patrols.
Mono County District 4 Supervisors, Tim Fesko told The Sheet the recent development is “very disturbing.”
There are six vacant deputy positions in addition to five non-sworn public safety officer spots. The Sheriff’s Department was able to fill administrative positions, a Public Information Officer and a Finance Officer and funding has been approved for two deputy positions but this is after years of budget cuts. The budget for 2015-16 is two-thirds of what it was five years ago.
Sheriff Ingrid Braun said in an email to The Sheet, “We have funds in the overtime budget to deploy overtime shifts, but too much overtime takes a severe toll on the mental and physical health of the deputies, as well as impacts their family lives. We need deputies who are alert and prepared to handle calls, and forced overtime diminishes anyone’s responsiveness. So we aim to strike a balance between overtime and employee well-being, all while addressing the needs of the community. It can be a complex equation.”
A press release from the Sheriff’s Department states, “This is a less than ideal situation as the long hours have taken a toll on the entire force.”
“Forced overtime wears on a person, tired all the time more prone to injury and could lead to a worker’s compensation issue and the department is short another deputy,” Braun told The Sheet in an interview Wednesday, May 4. “I don’t want to kill them, literally, with overtime.”