Daly City seeks part-time police 

Police officers looking for part-time work have a friend in the Daly City Police Department.

To boost recruitment efforts, the department has begun a per-diem officer program, hiring former police officers to conduct part-time work when needed. The officers would need to hold current certification from the Peace Officers Standards and Training.

By bringing in part-time officers, the department would be given additional flexibility to fill roles left unfulfilled due to failed recruitment and funding limitations.

The department doesn’t have the funds for 123 full-time positions; 100 of those are officer positions and the rest management, according to Tim Birch, a management analyst with the department. Of those 100 officer positions, 10 are both unfunded and unfilled.

Of the remaining 90 positions that are funded, Birch said, two positions are vacant. There are also other positions in which the officers are busy with training, so the department is short-staffed and officers work overtime, Birch said.

The program has no sunset and wouldn’t necessarily be cut once staff was once again full, which it hasn’t been since 2001, he said.

"The reasoning (behind the program) is really on career-building and recruit retention," Birch said.

The Police Officers Association did not fully support the program but was "OK" with it, he added. A representative from the association could not be reached as of press time.

"We still have some positions that need to be filled, but this is a good fix," Mayor Maggie Gomez said of the program.

Additionally, but not the primary purpose of the program, the city is spending anywhere between $6,600 and 8,000 per week on overtime costs as an understaffed department racks up an average of 100 hours of overtime a week, Birch said.

Per-diem officers would collect most likely between $44 and 53 per hour and not receive benefits so the department could take on four per-diem officers for the cost of one full-time officer with benefits.

With the program in place, the department can hire a part-time officer, such as the former San Bruno police officer they’ve hired who also has done work on sexual assault investigations, to pick up shifts, Birch said.

The department can also hire technical specialists, such as Daly City Police’s firing range master, a certified reserve officer, to watch over the range at an hourly fee, he added.

In a study session with the City Council Monday, police Chief Gary McClane described who they would hire as "whoever is out there right now and is trained to help us."

Council members touted during the study session the flexibility the program would give the department.

dsmith@examiner.com

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