PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia is trying to address its epidemic of gun violence by requiring police officers to work longer hours.
Starting this weekend, officers on patrol will work longer shifts.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, police patrols will change to 12-hour shifts rather than eight-hour shifts.
The department has been challenged in its effort to manage outbursts of violence during recent weekends.
The goal is to allow more officers to respond to incidents.
In a news conference about gun violence earlier this week, Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said a better solution will have to be found.
"As I've said time and time again, this isn't sustainable long term," said Outlaw.
Meanwhile, 72 new Philadelphia police officers and two Temple police officers are now ready to serve their communities.
The Action Cam was at Friday's graduation ceremony for the Police Academy's class number 396 in North Philadelphia.
Graduation comes on the cusp of mandatory overtime to increase staffing this weekend. Last weekend, police investigated eight homicides and 27 non-fatal shootings.
Mayor Jim Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, and FOP President John McNesby all praised the graduates for the investment they are making toward their futures.
Outlaw said this is a difficult time to be a police officer in Philadelphia, and praised each officer for their commitment to justice.
"There's an acknowledgment that is hasn't been easy. There's an acknowledgment that crime is up. There's an acknowledgment that staff is low," said Outlaw.
After today's police academy graduation ceremony in North Philadelphia, 72 new Philadelphia police officers and two Temple police officers are now ready to serve their communities.
This comes at a time when enrollment is low according to McNesby
"We're in dire need, we're losing people every day, every month, and something like this is great," he said.
McNesby said he's hoping the extra hours this weekend aren't a permanent solution.
"I understand the commitment that we need to do to get this under control, but we have to balance that with home life and the officer's well-being. So we'll be talking in the next coming weeks regarding this. I'm hoping this isn't an everyday thing," said McNesby.
The department also announced changes to its leadership, naming three new deputy commissioners effective Monday. Deputy Commissioner Christine Coulter is no longer on the executive team.
Action News' data team found the city is on pace to lose more than 500 officers by the end of the year, far outpacing the number of new recruits. Low staffing combined with rampant crime led to this schedule change.