3 Most Common Patrol Schedules for a 100+ Person Police Department

After analyzing almost 200 law enforcement personnel schedules we found 3 that were most commonly used in 100+ person departments.

November 3, 2022

Looking for different ways to schedule patrol in your department? After analyzing almost 200 law enforcement personnel schedules we found 3 that were most commonly used in 100+ person departments.

Different size agencies have different needs. 

Some require certain shift lengths. 

This article will cover one police officer work schedule example with 8-hour shifts, one with 10-hour shifts, and one with 12-hour shifts.

Overall, there were about 5 schedule trends we noticed.

You can view all 5 schedule examples here.

The most common patrol schedules we found were:

  1. [4 on 3 off]
  2. [4 on 3 off] [3 on 4 off] [3 on 3 off] [4 on 4 off]
  3. [5 on 2 off]

1. [4 on 3 off]

This is a simple 4 on 3 off rotation with 10-hour shifts.

There are 7, one week template examples below but some departments only use a few of them and are still able to cover 24x7.

You may mix and match to fit what works best for your department.

The templates shown below display a day squad. You will need a night shift squad and swing shift squad as well to cover all hours of the day.

Template 1-2

Template 2

Template 3

Template 4

Template 5

Template 6

Template 7

2. [4 on 3 off] [3 on 4 off] [3 on 3 off] [4 on 4 off]

This 12-hour shift patrol schedule template requires two squads.

One squad for day shift and one for the night shift.

It will run for 2 weeks and only requires 2 templates per squad.

All of the templates you need are shown below:

Squad 1 - Night - 12 Hour Shifts-1

Squad 2 - Night - 12 Hour Shifts-1

Squad 3 - Day - 12 Hour Shifts-1

Squad 4 - Day - 12 Hour Shifts-1

3. [5 on 2 off]

This 8-hour shift schedule has only 1-week templates.

There are 7 of them below but we have seen some only use 3 or 4 of them to cover round the clock.

It will require 3 squads.

Below we have squad one covering day shift. You would need 2 more squads to cover night and swing shift.

8 hr - temp 1

8 hr - temp 2

8 hr. - Temp 3

8 hr. - Temp 4

8 hr. - Temp 5

8 hr. - Temp 6

8 hr. - Temp 7

Number 1, the [4 on 3 off] schedule rotation, was the most common way of scheduling patrol in the departments with 100+ employees.

Another popular one was the Pitman Schedule.

This is a more complex schedule rotation but used by many law enforcement agencies.

Deciding what police officer work schedule pattern to go with can be daunting.

Make sure you take the time to evaluate different options to keep your officers/deputies happy and save costs.


Want to take these officer scheduling examples with you? View 5 examples of patrol schedules for 100+ person police departments now, click on the button below!


 

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