Public information officer quits over shift change

In this 2012 photo, Mandi Johnson is holding onto her two children. Until recently, Johnson worked as a public information officer at WKU. “It’s more of a calling than a regular job,” Johnson said. Her husband Kemble Johnson works as a police officer for the city of Bowling Green sheriff’s department.

Jacob Parker

After seven and a half years, Mandi Johnson has resigned as public information officer for the WKU Police Department.

Due to a change in shifts within the department, Johnson was unable to find care for her children during the time she needed, resulting in her resignation.

“My shift changed to second from days, and my husband works nights,” she said. “We couldn’t find anyone [to take care of our kids] from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.”

In February, after having worked in the crime prevention department, Johnson moved to patrol. Being aware that shift changes were coming up in August and that her hours could potentially change, Johnson and her husband began attempting to find child care in February.

“I anticipated it coming,” she said. “In case my hours changed, we wanted to go ahead and make sure the kids were okay.”

Even with the months spent searching, Johnson wasn’t able to find care for her children during the allotted time.

“No one wants to get up in the middle of the night,” she said. “We had people offer to let the kids sleep at their house, but we didn’t want to have to make the kids get up in the middle of the night.”

Because of the shifts being assigned this year, Johnson didn’t have negotiations to alter her schedule to better fit her needs. Although she had discussed the situation with her captain previously, Johnson was still assigned second shift.

After learning of the shift assignment, Johnson let her captain know that she was unable to continue her employment effective the same day new shifts were implemented. 

“He said he hated to hear that, but that I would always have a position if I was able to figure the scheduling out,” she said.

Now, Johnson plans to spend time coaching her son’s soccer team and attending music classes with her daughter.

“I’m going to take some time, try to find something I can do for the rest of my career,” she said.

Sergeant Dominic Ossello said that as of right now, it has not been decided who will fill Johnson’s position.

“It’ll be someone within the agency,” he said. “It won’t be a new face, just a new title.”