Eliminate Overscheduling Issues to Reduce Law Enforcement Burnout

Learn how a sheriff and police officer scheduling system can help reduce law enforcement burnout from overscheduling to keep officers safe and accountable.

August 24, 2022

Article Highlights

The problem: Overscheduling and burnout

Due to growing issues with sheriff and police staffing shortages, officers are frequently overscheduled and overworked. Working 12-hour shifts (or more) can be tiring, and combining that with high-pressure, stressful situations officers often experience in the line of duty makes breaks and days off critical.

Officer scheduling is not easy – agencies have to account for regular and rotating shifts, swing shifts, graveyard shifts, as well as sick days and PTO. And manual, paper-based systems make law enforcement agencies’ complex schedules even more difficult to manage. They’re prone to more errors and miscommunications, and they don’t give your staff a reliable way to request time off. 

Departments manually create schedules in Excel spreadsheets, print them out, and hang them on a bulletin board for staff to see. But this scheduling process makes tracking employee hours and efficiently updating schedules with chances difficult. It also lacks visibility into officer schedules, making it hard to see if officers are overscheduled. 

The issues that come with manual scheduling systems can have a negative domino effect on your department. Overscheduled officers are more likely to become overworked and stressed, take more sick days, and make poor decisions in the field. They may also miss vacations because the department needs them to work to meet minimum staffing requirements. These problems can quickly lead to law enforcement burnout, which can cause safety issues for officers and the community, as well as compliance issues for the department. Officers need time away from work to benefit their health and to balance their personal lives. 

The solution: Police department scheduling software

PowerDMS's law enforcement scheduling system, PowerTime, streamlines schedule management to help reduce sheriff and police stress and burnout from overscheduling. The software automatically calculates staff hours for each pay period, eliminating the need for time-consuming manual calculations. 

PowerTime’s automated system also provides real-time scheduling updates, warning you when staff members have reached their maximum number of hours. This makes it easy for you to ensure officers aren’t scheduled to work too many hours without a break. 

Furthermore, the sheriff and police staffing software system tracks approvals, hours accrued, and time-off banks so supervisors can quickly determine information about staff schedules and available PTO. And your department can create a multi-tiered approval system in PowerTime to streamline time-off requests for supervisors to review and approve, complete with automatic updates whenever someone makes a change to the schedule. 

The benefits of a sheriff and police officer scheduling system

PowerTime’s automatic notifications to staff about real-time schedule changes ensure supervisors stay updated on important shift changes and can identify when the police department is not sufficiently staffed. With the ability to efficiently check the entire agency’s schedules in one centralized system, supervisors can easily determine who has availability to fill open shifts without overscheduling officers. 

In addition to saving time on the scheduling process, PowerTime also makes it easy for staff to request time off and speeds up PTO approvals. Staff no longer have to submit written requests for time off on paper schedules and bulletin boards, which are prone to errors, can cause delays if the schedule hasn’t been posted yet, and makes it hard to track which requests came first. A streamlined, centralized process means staff gets more scheduled time off, reducing frustration and law enforcement burnout.

Automated scheduling systems enable law enforcement agencies to ensure your staff isn't overscheduled or burnt out. PowerTime improves schedule management so your officers stay more alert and effective, and ensures they aren't fatigued or likely to make poor decisions in the field. This supports safety and compliance in your department with more informed staff, fewer errors and staffing issues, and better services to the community.

Learn more

Police department scheduling software helps minimize overscheduling to combat law enforcement burnout. To learn more about the benefits of PowerTime, schedule a free demo on our website.

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