Law Enforcement Schedules: Top 8, 10, and 12-Hour Shift Examples

When evaluating the different patrol schedules that law enforcement agencies (that use PlanIt) use, we evaluated which ones were the most popular overall.

November 1, 2022

When evaluating the different patrol schedules that law enforcement agencies (that use PlanIt) use, we evaluated which ones were the most popular overall. 

It turns out, that 12-hour schedules were the most commonly used.

Followed by 10-hour and lastly 8-hour.

There were a handful of departments that mixed 8, 10, and12-hour shifts as well.

Or some did 8.5-hour shifts, 10.5-hour shifts, and different variations like that.

However, we were evaluating the most common patterns.

Therefore, we just picked out the 3 main shift lengths: 8, 10, and 12 hours.

While we do not create new schedules for departments, we do set up a lot of current schedules in our law enforcement scheduling software during the initial launch.

See everything that's included in our setup, here!

But below you will find 4 of the most popular patrol schedules used! Check it out...


A) [2 on 3 off] [2 on 2 off] [3 on 2 off] - 12 hour

This 12-hour police shift schedule example is a popular choice because officers receive every other weekend off.

To see a full article explaining this rotation click here.

To download and print this schedule example, click the button below:

B) [4 on 3 off] - 10 hour

This is a simple rotation with favorable 10-hour shifts. 

Not too long and not too short.

To view an article explaining this rotation further, click here.

If you would like to view this and a couple other 10-hour shift schedule examples, click the button below:

C) [4 on 3 off] [ 3 on 4 off] and [3 on 3 off] [ 4 on 4 off] - 12 hour

This 12-hour shift schedule example is popular on the west coast.

If you would like to see the details of how it works, click here.

Or, you can download a whole pile (7 to be exact) of 12-hour shift schedule examples by clicking the button below:

D) [5 on 2 off] - 8 hour

This is the most widely known 8-hour shift schedule.

It is simple and easy to use.

Here is an article that explains the [5 on 2 off] o hour shift schedule in more detail.

To download more schedule examples with 8-hour shifts, please click the button below:


Need a system to handle your complex rotations? 

PlanIt Schedule will handle your 24x7 personnel schedules with ease.

The software will allow you to manage things like:

  • Time Off
  • Overtime
  • Shift trades
  • Minimum Staffing
  • Open Shifts

Check out all of the features on our law enforcement scheduling software today!

Law enforcement schedules vary from department to department but there are definitely trends and examples that are beneficial to know about.

Whether you need 8-hour shifts or 12-hour shifts there are options!

Don't settle, find the most efficient and effective schedule to fit your department's needs.

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