GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) — The City of Golden is doing a trial run of a four-day workweek with its police force. Their hope is to improve officer retention and recruitment efforts.

All police department employees will move from a 40-hour workweek to a 32-hour workweek without a change in pay. City service levels and days open will not change, nor will patrol staffing and coverage, according to the city.

“We are calling this trial program ‘The Best for Golden‘ because we believe that the four-day workweek will raise the bar on our service to the City of Golden by improving employee retention and engagement, increasing employee wellbeing, and elevating efficiency in our operations. Organizations around the world, including governments, have seen important benefits from adopting a four-day workweek, and we are excited for Golden to be the first city in our region to experiment with this innovative program,” said Scott Vargo, City of Golden city manager.

The city is partnering in the development and evaluation of the trial with the non-profit organization 4 Day Week Global who are leaders in promoting the benefits of a productivity-focused and reduced-hour workplace. 

The trial will be conducted in July 2023 and is expected to run through the end of the year and will include all employees in the Golden Police Department. The city said they chose the police force for the trial because they are already flexible when it comes to scheduling.

“Frontline workers have been placed under significant pressure over the last few years, particularly with the public health restricted movements mandates we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has undoubtedly led to higher levels of burnout in the policing profession, eroding of their personal well-being and a likely impact on professional performance. A four-day week helps in addressing the longstanding structural issues which perpetuate fatigue in the profession, leading to not just an opportunity to rethink the policing workforce, but also improve policing standards for the 21st century complex society we live in,” said Dale Whelehan, CEO of 4 Day Week Global.

The metrics the city is monitoring are as follows:

  • Employee productivity and engagement
  • Service to the city
  • Potential reduction in overtime
  • Reduced use of sick leave
  • Recruiting and retention

They said the community will be updated on what they find at the three and six-month marks. if the trial is successful, the city will look into expanding to other departments of the city.

There will be a community listening session about this exciting new program on May 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the city council chambers. The listening session and the City’s Guiding Golden page are great opportunities to ask questions and learn more about the program.