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Progress in Kabul = No more O.T. for Atlanta cops

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Atlanta Police Chief Beverly Harvard last week pulled officers off 12-hour shifts as abruptly as she had ordered them on the extended duty five weeks earlier. The move capped the cash-strapped city's police overtime bill at an estimated $3.5 million. It's uncertain where Atlanta will find extra money, since its budget is already overspent and its reserve funds nearly depleted.

Harvard's spokesman, Maj. Calvin Moss, says the chief decided Tuesday to put most officers back on regular shifts.

"My understanding is we had no continuing or new threats to Atlanta's security and that some favorable progress had been made in [the war in] Afghanistan," Moss explains.

Harvard earlier had said she put the entire force on 12-hour shifts immediately after bombing began Oct. 7 in Afghanistan. During the ensuing five weeks, no credible terrorist or anthrax threats had been reported in Atlanta.

She lifted the overtime early evening Tuesday, Moss says, shortly after CL hit the streets with an article that criticized the 12-hour shifts as an unwarranted waste of taxpayer money. As recently as the previous Friday, Harvard told CL she had no schedule for ending the extended hours.

Officers stationed at Hartsfield Airport and others assigned to a handful of unnamed special details will continue working 60-hour weeks for the time being, Moss says.

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