Law Enforcement is a demanding profession, and it's no secret that officers' schedules are demanding as well. Long hours, shift rotations, and excessive overtime can lead to officer fatigue resulting in anxiety, depression, and burnout. Most law enforcement administrators recognize the direct impact officers' schedules have on their work performance, personal lives, and overall mental well-being. Some have turned to officer scheduling software to help manage schedules, ensure proper staffing levels, and improve communication. But with so many options available, how can they determine which program will best meet their needs?
Here are four things law enforcement managers and supervisors should consider when selecting officer and staff scheduling software.
Is it accessible?
Providing officers with anytime, anywhere schedule access gives them - and managers - peace of mind knowing they always have the most current schedule. Software that includes a mobile app allows officers to instantly access real-time schedules no matter where they are. Some software alerts employees when schedules are posted, and when changes are made to the schedule. This provides additional assurance that each officer has accurate, up-to-the-minute schedule information.
Does it have you covered?
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring the department is staffed with enough officers for each shift. Software that makes staffing calculations according to the department's specific requirements ensures adequate coverage. This allows supervisors to instantly see whether there are too many or too few officers scheduled. Software with an integrated messaging system also allows supervisors to immediately contact employees to fill open shifts or meet demands for additional manpower in times of crisis.
Can they communicate?
Unplanned events, unforeseen illness and other life issues can come up at any time. Scheduling software that allows officers to submit cover, swap, time-off and other schedule requests anytime, from any location helps them find available and qualified colleagues to fill in or cover for them. Administrators should look for software that allows them to review requests remotely and accept or deny them. This helps ensure every shift is properly staffed.
Will it promote predictability?
A career in law enforcement often forces officers to miss holidays, birthdays, sports activities, and other important events. Building schedules out in advance helps them and their families plan future events and allows them to prioritize and manage obligations. Administrators should look for scheduling software that allows them to create schedules for any time frame and copy schedule patterns and rotations as far into the future as they'd like.
Police administrators and supervisors play a critical role in helping officers and employees manage stress levels. A department that provides officers with 24/7 schedule access, ensures proper shift coverage, and makes it easy to submit schedule requests will positively impact it's officers' overall mental well-being. Read this article on American Police Beat's website to learn how to recognize signs of officer stress and learn more steps police departments can take to help promote good mental health.
Learn how ScheduleAnywhere meets law enforcement's unique staff scheduling requirements.