HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Police Department’s 3-12 pilot scheduling project started at the beginning of April and it’s already showing positive results.

The pilot works with officers on 12-hour and 45-minute shifts, for three days a week for three weeks. On the fourth week, they work four days with again 12-hour and 45-minute shifts.

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The police union said the schedule has allowed them to keep some shifts fully staffed, even as the department deals with a shortage of officers.

“Our staffing numbers in D4 or the windward side has been seeing that they’ve been running approximately 100% to 105%,” said Robert Cavaco, President of SHOPO. “In Kalihi, they’re consistently around the 90% to 92% mark.”

As far as recruiting more officers, HPD has posted lateral-entry positions allowing officers from other jurisdictions to transfer to Honolulu. SHOPO said HPD has also proposed adding more recruit classes, but that may not be enough.

“We’ve been starting with classes at 40 and then when it comes six months later to graduation, we’re graduating maybe 16, 17. I think it comes down to like the 62% attrition rate,” said Cavaco.

Experts said it’s going to take thinking outside the box to address the staffing shortage long term.

“It’s something that has to become aggressive recruitment,” said Sheryl Sunia of Hawaii Pacific University and a former Honolulu Police detective. “Going in and talk to people going in and talking to the college students, going into the high schools. Maybe bringing the cadet program back.”

The police union said they’re hoping that by the time the pilot schedules end on June 25, a new police chief will be in charge of permanently adopting the scheduling.

“Our officers that are assigned to the specialized units, they’re already saying that if the department adopts the 3-12 schedule, that they’re going to transfer to patrol.,” Cavaco said. “So you’re going to see more officers transferring to patrol and that should piggyback the increase in staffing.”

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The search for a new police chief continues, but the number of candidates has narrowed down to seven. The names of the candidates have not been made public yet.