Top 3 12-Hour Shift Schedule Examples for Your Department

With almost half of all PlanIt Police users scheduling with 12 hour shifts, we have a lot of example schedules to share.

November 1, 2022

With almost half of all PlanIt Police users scheduling with 12 hour shifts, we have a lot of example schedules to share.

While 12 hour shifts can create very long days for your officers, they also allow for more days off. 

Check out these schedule examples for your department to see if it's worth it:

The top three 12-hour shift schedule examples are:

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

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

The top used schedule from all of the 12 hour rotating shift schedule templates evaluated is the Pitman Schedule.

We do have a whole article dedicated to this 12 hour shift schedule (click ^ to view) but will briefly go over it below.

The rotation is [2 on 3 off] [2 on 2 off] [3 on 2 off].

It requires 12 hour shifts, 2 templates, and 2 squads. However, you can extend the weeks and create a 4, 6, 8-week template if desired.

*** What is a template? - a template could be a single employee or a squad of employees working the same shifts. This would depend upon your department size and minimum staffing levels.

Pitman 1

Pitman 1

Repeat with 2 templates/squads for nights, to cover 24x7.

Download printable version of these schedules HERE!

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

This 12 hour rotating shift schedule template is also called the Idaho Schedule. For more information on this schedule, click here.

The rotation simply uses opposite days. So, one of the templates will be [4 on 3 off] [3 on 4 off] and the other will be [3 on 3 off] [4 on 4 off].

With 12 hour days, you can cover all hours of the day with 4 templates (aka 2 squads of 2 templates).

Squad 1 - Night - 12 Hour Shifts

Squad 2 - Night - 12 Hour Shifts

Repeat with 2 more squads/templates to cover day shift for 24x7 coverage.

3. [4 on 4 off]

This 12 hour shift schedule template is very simple.

The officer works for 4 days and then is off for 4 days.

That pattern will repeat for 8 weeks.

4 on 4 off - Temp 1

4 on 4 off - Temp 1

Repeat the 2 templates above with 2 more but switch to night shift to cover 24x7.


While these are the top three 12 hour shift schedules we evaluated, they may not be best for every department. We have compiled over 6 examples for you to evaluate. They can be viewed, printed, and shared. Download below!


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