The Young County Sheriff's Department and the Graham Police Department have recently traded some personnel.
Former Young County Sheriff's Chief Deputy B.J. Cook and Young County Sheriff's Deputy Bud Bumpus have become officers at the Graham Police Department, and former Graham Police Officers Chris Moody and David Aleshire are now Young County Sheriff's Deputies, confirmed GPD Chief Tony Widner.
“I don't know that it's a trend,” Widner said. “It's something that has happened right now. The employee market has different priorities and concerns, and so basically they're just shopping around looking for the job that fits their expectations the best.”
The police department has recently filled it's final open position and is now fully staffed, Widner said.
Deputy Aleshire said he was motivated to change agencies because of the 12-hour shift cycle utilized by the sheriff's department. With the exception of fire departments, a majority of first responder agencies are on similar cycles, he added, and explained that the main advantage of the 12-hour shift cycle is it allows each officer an entire weekend off every other week. GPD officers work eight hour shifts that are structured in such a way that no officer below the level of lieutenant ever receives a weekend off.
“If you're a person into family time, it's hard when you only have Monday and Tuesday off,” Aleshire said. “Your family time is usually very minimal, making it hard on your family on top of other factors that already make this a difficult job.”
Not being available for family members is a leading reason law enforcement officers experience such high rates of divorce, Aleshire said, adding that other reasons he made the move include having more area to police in the county and the ability to follow investigations through to the end, something he often couldn't do with the GPD.
“We (law enforcement) are all going for the same goal,” Aleshire said. “One (agency) is not better than the other. One job just fits some individuals better than others.”
Widner understands that change is part of the police job market.
Read the entire story in this weekend's Graham Leader.