The Montgomery County lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police yesterday criticized Police Chief Bernard D. Crooke's plan to end the four-day work week and proposed its own plan to combat the rising crime rate in the county.
At a press conference in Gaithersburg, FOP President Larry Desmond said that 250 officers had unanimously rejected the plan proposed by Crooke to put more officers on the street between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. -- peak demand for police services.
"What the administration's proposals will create is a department of crime reporters, and destroy a department of crime fighters," Desmond said. He also argued that Crooke's plan "will seriously jeopardize our officers and could ultimately affect their efficiency."
The four-day 10-hours a day work week is a popular arrangement with patrol officers because it allows them to moonlight at second jobs and, according to Desmond, "spend more time with their families."
The FOP will meet with Crooke to propose maintaining the current four-day work week but boosting police coverage between noon and 10 p.m. with two special shifts drawn from various other shifts. That plan, Desmond argues, will not only satisfy Crooke's desire to get more officers on the street when calls for police service are the highest but will not overly deplete the shifts that work late at night and early in the morning.
The FOP has released figures compiled in 1974 when the four-day work week was first being studied that show that most major crimes, except larceny and burglary, occur from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.