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Floresville cops implement ‘double days’ program
Wilson County NewsMarch 14, 2012 | 1,401 views | 1 comment
FLORESVILLE -- The Floresville Police Department has had an added police presence here on Thursdays and Fridays because of “double days.”
Lt. Jesse Evins said after being promoted to lieutenant in 2009, he worked with then-Chief Daniel Martinez to implement a patrol schedule similar to one that was perfected in Abilene. Patrol officers work four, 10-hour shifts per week. Then all patrol officers work on the same day -- a double day -- one day per week.
“This schedule has proven to reduce overtime while maintaining coverage,” Evins said.
Police Chief Lorenzo Herrera said this schedule also gives officers two weekends off per month.
Some uses for the double day include allowing officers to catch up on paperwork, training, and assisting the Three Rivers Police Department in their drug interdiction partnership with Floresville, Herrera said. The program also has helped the department save money on overtime hours, because an officer does not have to work his or her day off to cover for a vacationing officer.
In recent weeks, double days have been used for special initiatives. On Feb. 24, officers converged on the intersection of U.S. 181 and Hospital Boulevard, where motorists have been complaining about increased traffic violations. Herrera said the increased commercial-vehicle traffic because of the area’s oil and natural gas boom has brought about a rise in complaints, such as speeding.
During a three-hour time period, Evins said officers wrote 25 tickets -- citations and warnings -- at the intersection. There also were two subjects arrested on outstanding warrants.
“No particular vehicles or offenses were targeted, other than traffic violations. The most common violations were for speed,” Evins said. “We will probably be doing more traffic-enforcement activities on a regular basis.”
On March 1, officers participated in a warrant roundup, in which they assisted Floresville Municipal Court bailiffs and warrant officers in apprehending suspects. Herrera referred further questions about the roundup to Municipal Judge Sheila Garza, who was unavailable as of press time March 12.
The police department is undergoing other changes, such as the promotion of veteran patrolman Jesse Gutierrerz, who now is a “patrol detective.” Herrera said that upon completion of additional training, Gutierrez will assist the processing of crime scenes, in addition to his normal patrol duties.
Also related to additional training, Herrera said the department plans to send up to three officers to commercial-vehicle enforcement training classes in June. Upon completion, he said, the officers will be able to enforce various rules and regulations on tractor-trailers that utilize the area’s highways.
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