Hudson, IN – Police officers used to call it “riding the pine” – today it’s called desk duty, and what was once a punishment for police officers is now a privilege – at least for one police department.
Hudson Police have resorted to creating a certified eligibility list for officers who were requesting to work the desk. According to Captain Thurman of the Hudson Police Department, “Due to the extremely high volume of officers requesting to work the desk as a permanent assignment, we thought that we needed to use an official selection process that has proven to be fair in the past.” This led the Hudson Police Department to take the matter to the Civil Service Commission.
Certified eligibility lists are typically used in the selection of police applicants for hire as well as promotions for current officers who hope to climb the ranks. According to officials, this new initiative to select desk officers will not be without its challenges.
“Eligibility lists have always been generated based on merit, skill, intelligence, diversity, and other measurable aptitudes of achievement,” said Tiffany Geller of the Hudson Civil Service Commission. “Aside from diversity of course, those other factors don’t generally apply in the assignment of desk duty, so we’re taking a bit of an unorthodox approach to generate a fair list.”
B&S learned that the factors taken into consideration to be selected for desk duty are based on a compilation of claimed ailments, injuries, gripes, and other complaints from officers that should preclude them from working the streets.
Our record request for the applications revealed that the following factors were taken into consideration in the ranking of the list for police officers to permanently work the desk: bad knees, bad back, lady days, headaches, tummy bubbles, jammed thumbs, and other seemingly chronic, but undiagnosed ailments.
Other factors included being too tired from working too many off-duty side jobs and a general fear of criminals and violence.
Officer Dawn Brown hopes that she makes the cut. “It’s always been my dream to work the desk permanently,” said Brown. “I got kids at home that need me and it’s dangerous out there. Uh-Uh, I ain’t got time for that – sure don’t.”
“Policing has changed,” said Captain Thurman. “I think officers, like Officer Brown, who want to engage citizens on a customer service level by working permanent desk duty are a great thing and a sign of our progression as an organization. In fact, she’s probably someone who our patrol officers on the street could learn a lesson or two from.”
Official selections from the eligibility list will be made by June according to officials, and a ceremony for those selected will be held in the offices of the Community Oriented Policing Division.