The Madison Police Department is changing the way officers respond to calls in an effort to improve response time.

Chief Dan Thurston said there is always at least one officer in the city's two districts - downtown and the hilltop. Lower-ranked officers would patrol those areas and respond to calls.

"What we've found, for our younger guys, we're having a lot of officer burnout," Thurston said.

Routine calls for a theft or accident would lead to paperwork piling up on one officer's desk.

Now, the department is trying to respond on a rotating shift of available officers to even the workload.

"At first, my biggest concern was response time," Thurston said. The concern was that three officers would respond to three incidents downtown, leaving no one to respond to a crime on the hilltop.

Thurston said officers have been staying aware of where other officers are and rotating to places that would need to be covered. Thurston said response time has improved as a result of this change.

Currently two of the three shifts have implemented the strategy. The department is going to continue rotating the responders through the end of the year before deciding if the change will become permanent.