By DAVID LOPEZ
Last Tuesday, City Commissioners approved various items on their agenda, including granting the San Benito Police Department a 12-week trial of 12-hour shifts where officers may have every other weekend free.
Commissioners unanimously approved the San Benito Economic Development Corporation’s Commercial Facade Improvement Grant Award to Uniforms, Etc., in the amount of $920.12. Mayor Pro Tem Carol Lynn Sanchez was absent.
Commissioners then unanimously approved a six-month pay deferment for five local businesses on their U.S.D.A. awards loans. The businesses and recipients were as follows:David Perez, San Bene Properties; Delia Rodriguez, New Beginnings Day Care; Griselda Ornelas, Ornelas Bakery and Ornelas Bakery & Taqueria; Orlando Garza, Slicks Premium Wash; and Veronica Aguilar, Delia’s Adult Day Care.
After their executive session, commissioners approved a requested Memorandum of Understanding adopting a new scheduling trial for the San Benito Police Department. According to Interim Chief of Police Fred Bell, the new schedule is a 12-week trial period in which patrol officers will be placed on 12 hour schedules, but it will still qualify as an 80 hour work week, and it will change the 10 day working period down to seven days.
“Every patrol officer will have every other weekend off,” Bell said to commissioners. “We believe it is going to be strictly for a trial.”
After 10 weeks, a survey will be conducted.
“If the majority of the officers are still satisfied and like the 12-hour schedule, then we will come back and extend the MOU until we go into contract negotiations with the (San Benito Police Employees’) Association next year. If after the survey the majority of the department doesn’t like it and wants to return to the eight hours, then two weeks after that 12-week period, Assistant Chief Perea will return the department to their 12-hour shifts,” Bell explained.
Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or make sure to grab a copy of the June 26-July 2, 2020 issue of the NEWS.