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Anyone have a policy that states you are to be available/on call anytime?

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Chowser, May 30, 2011.

  1. I just checked, we don't have a policy, I just thought it was expected of you when you take this job.

    Does anyone out there have an actual policy that states you must answer or call back soon when the department calls? All we mandate is that you have an active phone number. Doesn't say that they have to answer it.
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  2. SAR


    Apr 17, 2004
    LA LA Land
    Our policy is that unless you are specifically on call, such as for court or as an on-call homicide roll out team, you could go to the moon if you wanted and the Department could not stop you as long as you show up to work for your scheduled shifts. Our off time is our off time, and if placed on call, we are compensated. If we receive a call from the Department and are requested to take some action, even over the phone, we can turn in an overtime slip on our next working shift. So yeah, if I am NOT working, my phone goes to voicemail. As long as I show up for my next scheduled shift, nothing can be done to me.

  3. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    Our policy is just like yours. You have to give them a phone number, you don't have to answer it. Most people give them a landline and screen the caller ID. I used to feel bad not saying yes to OT but now I have no problem because their failure to plan does not constitute an emergency on my part.

    In other words if the city wants to cut the PD to the bone and run a bare bones PD then they need to realize that they are going to be short bodies from time to time. When that happens they have to sack up and tell the public we aren't going to calls for service unless it is an emergency. Officers need to put officer safety first even if it means letting **** go you ordinarily wouldn't.

    Good luck finding me on my day off. I am rarely home. When I am working you might be able to call me in early or stay late depending on the shift but on a 10 hour shift the PD has to send me home soon otherwise they will only be giving me a few hours of sleep and that has caused the PD problems in the past.

    The only people technically on call are managers and detectives when it is their turn to be on call. Most detectives will answer their PD issued cell phones on their own time and will come in for something good like an OIS or homicide. Patrol managers are on call based on the time of day. That is after 1am dayshift Lt gets called in vs. swings Lt.

    We are issued PD cellphones but most patrol guys shut them off when they shut off their radios and their is no policy to do so.

    I think the big reason why there is no on call policy for everyone is that if you are the city has to compensate you or be liable for it if someone beefs it. Cities that do have a policy of making people come in tend to abuse it. In other words your schedule and days off mean nothing to them and they probably treat you like crap in other areas as well.
  4. Mayhem like Me

    Mayhem like Me Semper Paratus

    Mar 13, 2001
    Not a chance
    Only if in an on-call unit.. you are issued a pager or a phone most have phones , if not then only if we change our emergency status, then after notification you must remain available.
  5. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    Forgot about SWAT and HNT. They are on call but issued pagers. They are not expected to come in per se every time but they do need to check in.

    The PD understands that if you are the child care for your kid on one or more of your days off they can't get you then. Yes it should be a you call, we haul group but to be honest they wouldn't be able to keep their numbers up without expecting a few people to not make it in.

    To be honest our SWAT guys aren't called in that often and most of it is planned at least 12 hours ahead of time. HNT just needs a couple of people to come in and when they have 6-10 available you will get enough.
  6. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    Depends on assignment here. Joe Patrol, nope.

    Investigators, SWAT, UCs...
  7. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    We are technically on-duty 24/7 as per policy. We are required to to carry sidearm and ID at all times, and are subject to call up at any time.

    If leaving town, even on off-days, we are required to send a dept wide email noting our location, days to be gone, and a number to be contacted at.

    In reality we are a larger dept now than we were when these policies were written. I have been employed here since 2004 and have never been called up involuntarily.
  8. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

    How do you know she is even home to answer the phone? I know that on my days off, I am often off flying or on a motorcycle ride and either can't answer the phone or don't even have service. And if I am not in a position to respond, I wouldn't waste anyone's time calling back just to tell them I can't come in.

    If she isn't getting paid to be on call and there is no policy that she is on call, there is no reason to say anything negative about her not answering.
  9. VA27


    Mar 23, 2002
    We used to have an 'on call 24/7' policy. After a high profile compensation lawsuit in another state the policy disappeared from the manual without comment from upstairs.

    They'd really like for you to be on call, but they don't want to pay for it.
  10. Same as the OP here. We are just required to have a working phone. I didn't answer mine when I worked Custody, for the reasons already mentioned. I'm still not required to, but things have gotten better, and I'm in a different position now. So I do. It would have to be something directly related to my responsibilities, or a legitimate emergency, before they would make that call now. Either way, I would want to be called.

    I recall once certain knucklehead who answered the phone years ago before he realized who was calling. When he found out who it was, he thought fast and said, and i quote, "No shpeaka de Englees". That did not go over well.
  11. txleapd

    txleapd Hook 'Em Up

    Aug 27, 2004
    I'm not on call 24/7. We are scheduled when we are on call. We are still expected to answer pages in a timely fashion, and I've been asked manu times to come in, even when not on call, when a big case hits.

    I'm sorry, but I've given blood, sweat, and tears to this job. I miss family events on a regular basis. I've been given nothing in return, but I don't ask for anything. Don't always expect me to always drop the time I can get with my family to come in and work a thankless job.

  12. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    "Been drinking; ya gonna send someone to pick me up?"
  13. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004
    We were required to provide a telephone, a pager, or means for the department to contact officers in an emergency. It is realistically impossible to require people to answer the phone as there is no practical way to enforce it. Rookies prayed for the phone to ring, as well as the senior people trying to run up their retirement pay. All others ignored it.

    The only people required to answer were issued a cell phone or pager and were paid on call pay - a small fraction of the hourly rate.
  14. Ruggles


    Jun 13, 2005
    :supergrin: Perfect.
  15. I have been the on-call specialist for my team (ATF) for well over 4 years now. If I get a call I have two choices: I can either work from home (if I brought home my laptop) or I can go to the office. Choice number three better damn well be that I am in the hospital and cannot work or I will likely be in big trouble.

    Now, what pisses me off is that whenever I ask for a weekend off or God forbid a vacation, my fellow team mates pitch a fit about how this will be such an inconvenience to them. I've developed a very thick skin toward many of these idiots, and truly couldn't care less about their feelings.

    Finally, I really love my job and honestly feel that I am part of a team that is solving crimes (to some extent, anyway) but that does not mean that I don't deserve a break now and then.
  16. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

    Our only on-call positions are one detective, one CSI and one coroner. They receive something like $2.00 an hour while on call plus any OT for callouts, but are not allowed to consume alcohol or be unavailable for immediate response.
  17. wprebeck

    wprebeck Got quacks?

    Oct 20, 2002
    Mm..looks like heaven
    A couple of thoughts....

    Were not required to answer our phones. That being said, Im on our SORT team, and we are expected to come in if activated. No penalties if you don't, and I've been party to two full team activations. Was on shift already for the first incident, briefed and scheduled for the second (kept it quiet of operation for security reasons). So, I've not been affected yet. And you know what, it would be a really bad day at work before I would give up my family time.

    Second, and very important -

    In the end, this job will chew you up, spit you out like a whore on Friday night, and when you're gone, few will remember you, fewer still will care.

    Have a life outside of your job. Don't let it ruin your marriage and estrange you from your kids. Seen it happen to too many folks. There's no reason you can't be a good.cop and good spouse/parent. Again, in the end, you wont be wishing you'd spent more work....not if you had kids. And you know, there wont be anyone from work at tour side.when you go, assuming you retired and not a LODD.

    For me, family first. Were it not for them, I wouldn't make it at work anyway. Everything else is secondary to the kids and wife. Thankfully, my agency is family friendly.
  18. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    One of our Sgts. used to call people in to make corrections to reports when there was no need to but he did it anyway. One of our guys got of graves and went home to get his drink on with a buddy. They were pretty well liquored up watching the Giants when the Sgt. called him in. The officer told him he was too drunk to drive but the Sgt. would have none of it. So the officer hopped on his bike and rolled in. As he was rewriting his report someone came in and started to talk to him and noticed the smell of beer and commented on it. The officer explained what happened.

    Soon thereafter officers stopped getting called in by that Sgt.
  19. Basically my policy was the same. The exception was related to job assignment. If you were in some specialized units you were required to be on call. Gang units were supposed to be available for major gang incidents. Technically not on call but if you did not return a call they demanded to know why. This did not happen often but I recall a multi 5 gang murder and another was when an officer was shot and in critical condition by a gang member with outstanding suspects, every gang officer in the bureau was called in, specially the experts on that particular gang.

    If you had a pager and a take home vehicle, it was kind of an unwritten rule that you had to be available. If you had plans a mention to the OIC would allow you to go to a party or out of town or things like that if you were not on vacation. If on vacation you left the vehicle at the station.
    No one had a problem with this. These were very coveted positions and you could be replaced if you pitched a fit. It was explained when you were selected and unwritten compensation was granted for many things.
    On call for homicides was different, called in or not you were given white time even if not called in.
  20. SAR


    Apr 17, 2004
    LA LA Land
    Uh, maybe because you retired from the Department I currently work for?