By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor

Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Officers didn’t feel like larger departments could relate to their unique work schedules. So, when they discovered Michigan Association of Police (MAP) Labor Relations Specialist Chad Trussler came from a similar public safety department, they wanted to hear more.

“Chad works in the area and understands how we work our schedule because its unique,” said Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Local Union President Dan Telfer. “He understands our department and our schedule better than somebody who works a straight 40-hour work week. We work a 24-hour shift.”

“They reached out to me and we did a presentation,” said Trussler, a Lieutenant with Beverly Hills Public Safety.

After listening to presentations from competing unions, Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Officers voted to change representation to MAP in May. They were formerly represented by Police Officers Labor Council (POLC).

“Some of the guys were a little concerned with our command guy being on the POLC board and we thought that might be a conflict of interest,” Telfer said. “One of the other dilemmas we have is we’re a small unit and we don’t get a whole lot of attention sometimes and MAP is a little bit of a smaller Union and we thought we’d match up better.”

The 16-member department divides their 24-hour shift with eight hours on patrol and the remaining 16 hours working as fire fighters. Officers work a rotating schedule of two days off, 24-hours on for a total of nine 24-hour shifts worked in a 28-day period.

“It’s unique but it works. It saves the City tons of money,” Telfer said. “It’s not your typical 9 to 5 work week. It’s more like a fire fighters schedule than a police schedule. For the most part, a lot of people are attracted to our department because of the schedule and that’s how we get applications in.”

With their contract expiring June 30, Trussler said he was ready to start negotiations as soon as possible.

“We’re looking forward to working with the City and having a contract that’s fair for both sides,” Telfer said. “The last couple contracts, it feels like we’ve been giving in too much. Like any other employees, we want increased wages, but there’s some language issues we want to get resolved and scheduling is one of them.”