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Tired of overtime, officer announces resignation on police radio

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 1:43 AM MST
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PHOENIX (KPNX) - An Arizona police officer was tired of being asked to work overtime, so he announced he was resigning right then over his two-way radio.

A Friday night shift turned into a Saturday early morning on Nov. 6, an apparently busy night in the Phoenix Police Department’s Cactus Park Precinct. Officer Mark Rine’s shift was supposed to end in just a few minutes.

But the 14-year veteran of the department was informed over the radio by the dispatcher and an unidentified officer that his whole shift was expected to work late.

At 12:27 a.m., three minutes before the end of his shift, Rine responded, “I’ll be going upstairs to fill out my resignation letter then.”

The officer did indeed file the threatened resignation letter, dated that very day. In it, he said he would no longer work in an environment where he does other shifts’ work on top of his own.

However, Phoenix Police say Rine still works for the department, despite submitting the letter.

The letter is now calling attention to the department’s lack of staff and the toll it’s taking on officers.

During a Wednesday subcommittee meeting, the department’s Executive Assistant Chief Michael Kurtenbach said it is running 51 patrol staff below the 1,096 considered “minimum staffing.” He also said 212 officers have left the department so far this year, and about 40 more are expected to leave through the end of 2021.

Half of those are leaving from patrol.

“We are losing officers at an accelerated rate,” Kurtenbach said. “Just as calls for service are going up, violent crime is going up. Response times are going up. At some point, we’re going to have to seriously look at redeploying resources that already exist if we can’t bring new officers through the door.”

Kurtenbach says the department has had to get creative to fill needed positions on the street, saying they’ve taken some of their specialty officers and are using them on patrol. Supplemental overtime is being provided, too.

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