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  1. #1
    121Traffic's Avatar
    121Traffic is offline Just Us
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    O/R Wants to Know (Meal breaks)

    Cops: What are your policies governing meals? Do you get a guaranteed (more or less) meal break? Do you have policies governing how many cars can be out of service (code 7) at any given time, how many officers can eat together in one place, where you can go, whether you need dispatch permission to go Code 7, etc.?

    Civvies: Do you think cops should have guaranteed meal breaks, or should they be subject to the radio at all times? How many cops do you think are okay to eat in one place before you start wondering who is covering the street?
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  2. #2
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    Per our contract here, we get a 50 minute C-7 break per 10 hour shift, plus two short 15 minute breaks. Obviously we are subject to priority calls, and no one has a problem breaking for them. Otherwise, non-priorities pend, or are handled by a nearby beat. We self-govern our breaks...no asking permission to go, but you had better make sure stuff is handled before you go out of service. We are allowed, per a Chief's GO, to go outside city limits (within reason) to eat on graves since choices are limited. Per shift, we are limited to probably 2-3 cars OOSC7 at any given time, but this can vary depending on the sarge. Same goes for eating in one place. If there's only one shift on, 3 is generally the accepted number. But if there's an overlap, no one barks at us if there are 5-6 of us eating since there's still plenty of cops to shag calls.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  3. #3
    Buttercup's Avatar
    Buttercup is offline Thrives in sunshine
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    Quote Originally Posted by 121Traffic View Post

    Civvies: Do you think cops should have guaranteed meal breaks, or should they be subject to the radio at all times? How many cops do you think are okay to eat in one place before you start wondering who is covering the street?
    I most definitely think that cops should have guaranteed meals breaks, to be interrupted only in the event of an extraordinary circumstance.

    I've never given a second thought when I've seen more than a couple of cops having a meal together in one place - they could be off duty, for all I know. If they are on duty, who cares - I have enough confidence to know that LE will be where they need to be, whether mid-meal or not.




  4. #4
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    30 min per 12 hour shift, not guaranteed, and still responsible for major calls (other beats handle minor ones in the breaking officer's beat). Two out of service at a time, and only two, maybe three out at the same place at the same time. Fairly loose restrictions on where as long as its no more than a mile or so outside of the City. Check with dispatch to see how many are out before you call out.

    I do think there should be guaranteed breaks where you are not bothered short of a catastrophy and I think that 2-3 cars at one place is enough. More than that just looks bad to the public and gives them more ammunition to grumble.
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  5. #5
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    We get one 30 minute interruptable meal break, and two 15 minute "rest" breaks. The chief just sent out a memo that we cannot combine the breaks into one interruptable hour long break. No policy or unwritten rules on having "x" amount of cars on break at a time, or eating in the same place.

    With the exception of 24 hr Perkin's and Hardees restaurants, meal choices are pretty much limited to gas stations, Wal Mart, and Hyvee. And since I don't eat food I can't see prepared, and I've eaten every damn thing in Wal Mart and Hyvee....I normally bring food to work and eat at the office.
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  6. #6
    SPD's Avatar
    SPD
    SPD is offline Corporal
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    We get one 35 min meal break and 2, 20 min "coffee" breaks per shift. We can only have three cars at any location at one time. We don't have to ask supervisor permission, but have to check unit status and make sure there are at least 3 others available when we check out. We still have to respond if something major happens and the manpower is needed. It is rare to have to pull off a break for activity, but I've had to a few times. We are not allowed to take breaks for the first or last hour and a half of the shift, and no combining them into one long superbreak.

    Oddly, I cannot remember the last time I heard someone take a coffee break. It just doesn't happen anymore. Ten years ago, everyone made a point to take all their breaks. Now - people just don't do it. It's not pressure from admin or anything - it just fell out of favor.
    Idiot

  7. #7
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    We get a half hour break. We have to "ask" dispatch and they have to approve it. No set other breaks, but if it's slow, you can either ask for a "personal" (bathroom), or a "cup" (coffee break), and they'll put you out of service for about 10-15 minutes. For the "personal" break, they'll usually let us stay on it until we clear (never know how long it will take). I bring my lunch to save money, so I haven't actually called out on a meal break in months and months. I might have done it 2 or 3 times in 2010. I usually just find a dark corner and eat my lunch.

    Some dispatchers don't like me because I don't ask them for things others do. Like most guys will ask to go into the station a half hour early before getting off on their friday to do paperwork that needs to be done before days off. I don't. It's work that is required to be done, Im not asking a dispatcher to go do my required work. So I simply mark out on my MDC that Im out of service at the station for paperwork. Some of them have power trips and like having us ask them for everything. F that.
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  8. #8
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I most definitely think that cops should have guaranteed meals breaks, to be interrupted only in the event of an extraordinary circumstance.

    I've never given a second thought when I've seen more than a couple of cops having a meal together in one place - they could be off duty, for all I know. If they are on duty, who cares - I have enough confidence to know that LE will be where they need to be, whether mid-meal or not.
    +1

  9. #9
    luckyme's Avatar
    luckyme is offline The bastard you love, the hero you hate
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    No set breaks, for lunch or otherwise. Not usually a problem here though. We're not allowed more than 2 officers in one location. As long as things are caught up and covered you can break as needed.

    Screw having to ask dispatch to go to the bathroom. I like to think I'm smart enough to know when it's an appropriate time or not.

  10. #10
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    On a 12 hr shift we get one 45 minute break and then another 15 minute(officially)
    However if you feel the need(and I often do) nothing wrong with popping in for a quick brew.

    We actually have no "entitlement" to a break, they are allowed simply if duties permit.

    We call them snap breaks up in the north. Something to do with mining apparently.
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  11. #11
    ManImBored is offline Ninja In Training
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    Since we only have one unit on duty at a time, we just take a break whenever we can. There are no General Orders or Policys concering breaks. We usually try to keep it around 30 minutes.
    "Sometimes doing the right thing, is not doing the right thing."

  12. #12
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    meal choices are pretty much limited to gas stations, Wal Mart, and Hyvee.
    The Evil Empire has invaded!

    I've never given a second thought when I've seen more than a couple of cops having a meal together in one place - they could be off duty, for all I know. If they are on duty, who cares - I have enough confidence to know that LE will be where they need to be, whether mid-meal or not.
    +1

    The City Diner in Kansas City seems to be the LEO/FD mecca. They seem to eat in shifts, one dept at a time, up to 10 per. Detectives appear first and the K-9 unit comes in late.

    When I was in food and beverage management, we made sure at least their beverages were free.

    At my current job I try to make sure all LEO/FD are taken care of.
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  13. #13
    JeffW is offline Officer First Class
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    No guaranteed break here. Officers are allowed to take 30 minutes subject to call. Officers are on 8 hour shift. Most of the time someone will volunteer to take calls of officer is out.Priority calls everyone goes.

  14. #14
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    I think they should be guaranteed meal breaks under normal circumstances. The cops here seem to have pretty flexible breaks. They decide for themselves when to take a break but they always ask Dispatch if they're free to take one. Seems like a perfectly fine way to do it.

    Ever since some idiot complained about all the cops eating at the same time with "no one out fighting crime", the department imposed a rule that only two cops can eat at the same place at the same time.

    That seems silly to me - First of all, someone should have told the guy that only four cops were eating together, not the whole shift.

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  15. #15
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    Yes, they should have guaranteed meal breaks.

    In our county 3 deputies seems to be too many for folks. I really don't know how many would be too many or for how long. If officers are monitoring the radio then they will be able to respond should the need arise.
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  16. #16
    E-man's Avatar
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    No set time but most guys at roll call seem to know who is going to call our for 30 and when. Depends on the shift, no one on overnights calls out, mornings and afternoons, most guys try to call out on a break if its beem busy and yes for a priority in your district, you just get a sense of "Its mine" and you gotta take it, also depends on who the cover car is and he wont make you owe him one
    We also supposed to get a 15 minute coffe break but no one calls out, we just go to the stop-n-rob and get a cup or well, we're not running code 3 all shift long anyways
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  17. #17
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-man View Post
    No set time but most guys at roll call seem to know who is going to call our for 30 and when. Depends on the shift, no one on overnights calls out, mornings and afternoons, most guys try to call out on a break if its beem busy and yes for a priority in your district, you just get a sense of "Its mine" and you gotta take it, also depends on who the cover car is and he wont make you owe him one
    Things go so much more smoothly when you work with telepaths....

  18. #18
    McCrackhd's Avatar
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    Wink

    Mobile doesn't give guaranteed breaks for street officers. Detectives and admin get an hour. Patrol used to have 30 min's to go 10-10, but they changed that just before I came on. Instead, Patrol gets paid for for thier 15 minute roll call. Personally I go to lunch whenever I want because I'm not subject to calls. The unwritten rule is no more than 3 cars at any one place, though that gets broken sometimes.

  19. #19
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    We currently do not have a policy relating to meal breaks....but that is about to change very soon with the new Sheriff.

  20. #20
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    No set time or guarantee, nor any limit as to how many units together.

 

 
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