MISHAWAKA, Ind. — A northern Indiana county has rejected 12-hour shifts for its 911 dispatchers after finding that potential problems would outweigh the benefits.

The St. Joseph County Council spurned the idea Tuesday after hearing testimony that 12-hour shifts would create efficiencies and result in the need to hire fewer dispatchers at the currently understaffed dispatch center.

The dispatcher’s union opposes 12-hour shifts.

Michael Clayton is president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 164. He tells the South Bend Tribune that the long shifts would take a toll on dispatchers whose jobs are often stressful.

The county’s new dispatch center in Mishawaka has 64 full-time dispatchers who work eight-hour shifts six days per week and take three consecutive days off.

Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com

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