Commissioners to referee impasse between Sheriff and deputies over shifts

By Lisa ZahnerINDIAN RIVER COUNTY — When Sheriff Deryl Loar proposed changing the 12-hour shift schedule that Indian River County deputies have been working for about 15 years, deputies resisted and now the matter goes before the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday for resolution.Under the union agreement, Commissioners have the right to weigh in and decide in certain matters which causes an impasse between deputies and the Sheriff. “Whatever the commissioners decide is the way it will be,” said Deputy Jeff Luther, spokesman for the department.Currently, there is a 12-hour day shift and a 12-hour night shift covering duties and patrol beats. Deputies would go from working a rotating schedule of three days on 12-hour shifts followed by days off and then back on again to four straight days on 10-hour shifts. The four days would either be Sunday through Wednesday or Wednesday through Sunday, with everyone on duty on Wednesdays to provide time for training. Sheriff Loar is asserting that 12-hour shifts cause fatigue, but the deputies do not agree.Sheriff Loar has included backup material in the Commissioners’ packets to illustrate how he would like to implement the new shift plan and documents to back up his case. Members of the Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association are expected to attend the meeting to present their side.The Indian River Board of County Commissioners meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Building A of the County Administration Compex.

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