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Butte-Silver Bow Police Department increasing patrol officer hours

Posted at 4:33 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 18:33:52-05

BUTTE— The Butte-Silver Bow police department is in a tough spot.

"We’ve lost a number of folks," said Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester.

The department doesn’t have enough officers to put on patrol.

"Some of them have taken jobs as truck drivers..." said Lester.

For the past six months, patrol officers have been leaving to pursue other jobs.

"One of them joined the military, one of them went into private retail," said Lester.

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For the past six months, patrol officers have been leaving to pursue other jobs.

Now other officers, like Steve Honer, have had to step up and cover shifts.

"With the schedule, we’re on right now a lot of us have been taken out of our specialty positions and put back into patrol, but we’re still short so we’re having a lot of overtime, a lot of officers working double shifts," said Honer.

Instead of three patrols working 9 hours, there will now be two patrols working 12 hour long shifts

The 12-hour schedule will take the three crews and combine them into two to increase the number of officers who would be out working. The two shifts will be from 6 am to 6 pm and then from 6 pm to 6 am.

Honer says he doesn’t mind the shake-up to his schedule.

"You know me—myself, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been working the same schedule for the past seven years and now it’s going to give me a break as well and I’ll get to do a lot more activities," said Honer.

The officers will be authorized different breaks to eat, work out, and finish anything they need to be done.

Honer says that this change will allow officers to patrol the streets much more efficiently.

"With going to twelves, your days off will come a lot quicker, but we’ll have a lot more manpower on the streets until we can get back into a better position within our department with manpower," said Honer.