The University of Kentucky Police DepartmentHow the University of Kentucky Police Department Improved Overtime Management and Staff Morale
Overview of University of Kentucky Police Department
The University of Kentucky (UK) is a public research university and one of the state’s two land-grant universities. The University covers 814 acres in the metropolitan downtown Lexington-Kentucky area. As of Fall 2019, it had the highest enrollment rate in the state, with 30,545 students.
The University of Kentucky Police Department (UKPD) is comprised of 64 sworn officers and 190 unsworn security staff with its own communications 911 center, making it the 10th largest police department in the state of Kentucky.
The UKPD is in charge of the UK’s Crisis Management which includes overseeing the COVID-19 testing programs for the university. Most notably, the UKPD is responsible for the management of the 40,000 special events that the UK holds annually.
The University of Kentucky Police Department’s Past Challenges
Looking back 4+ years before InTime, the UKPD was previously using another electronic scheduling system that had shortcomings. Their old solution resulted in consequences that impacted the agency in efficiency, costs, risk management, and staff morale.
Chief of Police Joe Monroe shares his agency’s story from past challenges to current day improvements and learnings.
LESS EFFICIENT AND PRODUCTIVE
With 40,000 events on campus per year, officers are required to work a lot of overtime. To manage this overtime, the UKPD had a unique point system to track these OT shifts. Due to their old system’s inability to integrate with their point system, Lieutenants had to manually enter and calculate their points. In addition to increasing time and effort, this manual process led to possible data inaccuracies and could have hindered the UKPD from making decisions in a timely manner.
“We were losing so many man hours, by having a lieutenant, that had to manually enter and calculate our points.”
With poor visibility, the UKPD struggled to track the various types of OT assignments that was occurring at the same time. Specifically, this resulted in incorrect billing and improper documentation as they were unable to generate accurate reports. Due to possible budgeting inaccuracies, the UKPD was challenged with high overtime costs.
“We had so many OT assignments going on at the same time, we were having billing problems, documentation problems, and we realized we had to change.”
LOW STAFF MORALE
Their ineffective OT management system eventually resulted in low staff morale. Officers were leaving the agency as they felt they were being asked to work too much overtime. During that time, the UKPD experienced significant turnover, which led to a decrease in productivity and increased costs for the agency.
“We were losing officers to other agencies, because they said they were working too much…we had to find something to decrease that turnover.”
Due to poor scheduling visibility, the agency was facing several safety risks that could impact the general public and the wellbeing of their officers. The scheduling issues were resulting in a lot of no-shows to events. This forced the UKPD to pull patrol staff from their shifts to cover these events, often working longer overtime hours. And in some instances, events were understaffed. With an ineffective overtime assignment process, the UKPD were seeing officers who were quickly burning out.
Implemented InTime in 2017
The excessive mandatory and voluntary overtime presented a safety risk that the UKPD had to address. After experiencing low staff morale and a high turnover, the UKPD decided to look for a new solution that would distribute OT shifts fairly. Although they were ingrained in another system, the need for change was clear. Most importantly, the UKPD wanted a solution that could integrate efficiently with their unique points system. In 2017, the UKPD chose InTime and began implementation.
“We wanted something that adapted to us and our needs and help us manage our unique situation with our point system, this was a big factor for us in choosing InTime.”
Present Day Improvements
With InTime as their workforce management solution, the UKPD experienced several key benefits.
EFFICIENT OVERTIME MANAGEMENT
With InTime, the UKPD vastly improved their overtime management. InTime was able to integrate with their unique points system, removing all need for manual entry. This fully automated process ensures that overtime distribution is fairly assigned. In addition, the UKPD is now able to post OT assignments quickly and efficiently through the InTime mobile app, web portal, and email. Overall, the UKPD is now more productive and able to make decisions quickly and accurately to meet any situational demand.
“Some of the benefits we’ve seen from [InTime] is our management of our OT assignments has been so vastly improved, we’re showing up for our assignments, we know who’s going to be there, and we can thoroughly distribute these assignments equitably through our point system.”
“It’s really beneficial for us to utilize the InTime solution to help us with our reimbursement and documentation.”
ACCURATE DOCUMENTATION AND BILLING
With the ability to easily track overtime assignments, the UKPD can now produce accurate documentation and billing reports. The reports go into extreme detail into proving the hours worked such as when an officer worked the shift, how many hours they worked, and how many officers there were. The UKPD can now properly recover overtime assignments costs and also ensure compliancy.
IMPROVED EMPLOYEE MORALE AND RISK MANAGEMENT
With InTime enabling the UKPD to distribute overtime assignments fairly and equitably, officers are no longer burned out. This improved the safety of the public as well as the wellbeing of their officers. InTime also gave officers more versatility in how they can sign up for overtime shifts. They can choose from the InTime mobile app or the web portal, which allowed them to see the available assignments in real-time. Officers can plan their schedules in advance, improving employee morale and efficiency.
“What they [officers] loved more than anything is the availability of getting automated emails and the app. They probably loved that more than anything. It was a very easy sell to get them on board with [using InTime].”
The UKPD experienced a significant improvement in turnover since using InTime. Officers are no longer burning out and leaving for other agencies, saving the UKPD hundreds of dollars in replacement costs.
“One of our biggest improvements is significant reduction of agency turnover, officers were not getting burned out from fatigue. It helped us manage our officer fatigue issue, and most importantly, it enabled us to boost and improve our employee morale.”
GRANT REIMBURSEMENT REPORTING
In 2020, a lot of the UKPD’s overtime assignments were related to their COVID-19 response. Now with InTime, the UKPD can identify the COVID-19 overtime hours, which substantiates their reimbursement claims.
“The COVID-19 reimbursement reporting has really proven beneficial to us this year in 2020. It allowed us to track the emergency overtime down to the hour, and half hour, which is important to have this data for submitting federal reimbursement claims.”
EXPANSION OF INTIME USAGE
After experiencing the benefits that InTime had to offer, the UKPD decided to extend the use of InTime for their security staff at the university medical center. This provides a consistent management process in all areas of the agency, expanding use for greater agency efficiency.
“I’m happy to endorse InTime as an effective and efficient solution to scheduling as well as OT management. The simple fact is you all listened and made those adjustments to assist us.”