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  1. #1
    LibPD514's Avatar
    LibPD514 is offline Veterano (old head)
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    Rotating Shifts.

    Our Chief is considering rotating shifts of 3 months on days,3 months on nights, etc. I don't believe the majority of the patrol division will be happy with that. Can anybody give me a plausible argument we can use against rotating shifts. The chief is new,and has done some great things in the 3 months he's been here, but I believe this would be a misstep on his part. Any feedback would be appreciated.
    I am aware that he is the boss, and as such, has the ultimate say in the matter, but it has also been my experience that rotating shifts have always lowered morale, because you always have guys who would rather work nights,just as there are guys who would rather work days. (my use of the word "guys" is non-gender specific in this context.) Again,any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Beans's Avatar
    Beans is offline Street Cop
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    Man, that sucks. We do a 28 day rotation. Go from days, to mids, to afternoons. Three months on the same shift would be rough. If you can't get out of it all together, maybe you can compromise for a shorter time on each shift.
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  3. #3
    Cidp24's Avatar
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    LEOs work some strange hours as it is and this is hard on a body. If you do not rotate at least your body can adapt to one set schedule of sleeping and working. I've done rotating and set schedules both and in my opinion rotation has a negative effect on health and morale. As a supervisor, I KNOW that people on my shift took less sick time and seemed happier on a set schedule.

    *A steady part time job is hard to work when your schedule rotates. A loss of that income can cause financial strain on a family.
    *Not being on a set sleep schedule causing you not to rest well can cause irritability and make you more susceptible to illness and injury.
    *Both of the above can lead to excessive or abused sick time, on job injury, poor decision making, and generally poor morale.
    *Future planning (vacations, etc for LEOs or events for admin) is harder with rotating shifts.

    Keep the guys as happy as you can within in reason while still effectively managing the department and you will see a decline in morale related issues. It's that simple.

    Suggest y'all try to talk him into doing a poll, see how many want set vs rotating.

    Just a note: Out of many shift variations that I have worked, 12s seem to work the best, keep people happy. The hours are long but you can't beat those 3 day weekends every other week and the fact that you only work about 15 days a month.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by Cidp24; 05-15-07 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Cause my spelling is horrible.
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  4. #4
    Beans's Avatar
    Beans is offline Street Cop
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    By the way LIPD, this is in a public area, your chief or anyone can see it. Would you like it moved to an LEO area? It is your thread, so your call.
    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Beans" on LEF.

  5. #5
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    Our dept uses a bid system. Each year is divided into three parts and you bid every four months. Within two years, you have to have worked each shift at least one period. So you can choose to work your favorite shift four periods, and then one each of your least favorite, two of each, etc.
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  6. #6
    Jenna's Avatar
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    The adverse effects that rotating shifts have on health, alertness, and accuracy are well-documented in the medical literature. Maybe you could do a search for "rotating shifts" in http://www.pubmed.govand show your chief the evidence from medical journals that document these effects.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...arch&DB=PubMed
    Last edited by Jenna; 05-15-07 at 09:39 AM.

  7. #7
    LibPD514's Avatar
    LibPD514 is offline Veterano (old head)
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    Thanks everybody,for your input. CIDP24, you have provided me a cogent argument, and I thank you Jenna, for providing me with some resources to show documentation. Beans, I'm okay with it being a public forum; it's not like I'm planning a coup d'etat or anything. The chief is pretty open-minded, and wouldn't have a problem with me doing this; he wants what is best for the department, and if I can show him why set shifts are better,he just wants something tangible.
    “There is something Pagan in me that I cannot shake off. In short, I deny nothing, but doubt everything.”~ George Gordon Lord Byron

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  8. #8
    LibPD514's Avatar
    LibPD514 is offline Veterano (old head)
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    By the way, CIDP24,it appears we're working the same type shift; 2 on, 2 off, three on, one week, then the reverse the next week.
    “There is something Pagan in me that I cannot shake off. In short, I deny nothing, but doubt everything.”~ George Gordon Lord Byron

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”~ George Orwell

    “I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.”~Oscar Wilde

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  9. #9
    gozling's Avatar
    gozling is offline the gene pool could use a little chlorine
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    we have a bid type shift and it is based on seniority.
    the shift changes come after 4 months.
    it seems to work for many, because they can put in their bids and if its not workable, usually someone will change with them...
    no shift is manditory.. that would so not fly here lol
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  10. #10
    Beans's Avatar
    Beans is offline Street Cop
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    Quote Originally Posted by LibPD514 View Post
    Thanks everybody,for your input. CIDP24, you have provided me a cogent argument, and I thank you Jenna, for providing me with some resources to show documentation. Beans, I'm okay with it being a public forum; it's not like I'm planning a coup d'etat or anything. The chief is pretty open-minded, and wouldn't have a problem with me doing this; he wants what is best for the department, and if I can show him why set shifts are better,he just wants something tangible.
    Sounds like a good chief! Just figured I would ask. Some chiefs will screw people over for anything.
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  11. #11
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    Our deputies do the shift switch every 3 months. I think they also get to bid for the team, which determines days off, and for the overlap shift.

    I think there was some talk about changing it to 4 months, so they weren't always on the same shift during the same time of year.

    Dispatchers have shift change every 4 months, but ours is seniority based.
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  12. #12
    LibPD514's Avatar
    LibPD514 is offline Veterano (old head)
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    I'm going to let the replies pile up for a bit. I worked 6p-6a last night, and have to be back at 6p tonight,so I'm off to the Land of Nod for a while. Thanks again,everyone.
    “There is something Pagan in me that I cannot shake off. In short, I deny nothing, but doubt everything.”~ George Gordon Lord Byron

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”~ George Orwell

    “I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.”~Oscar Wilde

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  13. #13
    mavriktu's Avatar
    mavriktu is offline Patrol Sgt.
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    3 months ???/4 months?????? holy crap,we work 12s' and rotate every 2 freakin weeks,2 weeks (7 days) nights and 2 weeks days and back again.It doesn't seem to affect me!!by the way ,my puter is saying 12:45, uhhh can someone tell me if that is am or pm

  14. #14
    Cidp24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mavriktu View Post
    3 months ???/4 months?????? holy crap,we work 12s' and rotate every 2 freakin weeks,2 weeks (7 days) nights and 2 weeks days and back again.It doesn't seem to affect me!!by the way ,my puter is saying 12:45, uhhh can someone tell me if that is am or pm
    I would be in a constant state of not knowing whether I needed to wind my a*& or scratch my watch if I was on that, Mav.
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  15. #15
    Jackalope's Avatar
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    A department I applied to last year had a schedule that sounded great to me. Everybody worked from 6 to 6. Two days, two nights, then four days off.

    It may sound crappy to switch between days and nights so often, but in reality you just have to suffer for two nights in every eight day period. You also get a full 24 hours off when you switch from day to night, so you have a chance to catch up on sleep before working all night.

    I used to work graveyard five days a week, and I never got used to it. I'd get tired right before it was time to go to work. Then I'd suffer all night, only to be wide-awake by the time I got home and tried to sleep. I'd much rather work a couple nights in a row and then forget about it until the following week.
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  16. #16
    Lo523's Avatar
    Lo523 is offline Master Officer
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    Our dept works seven on, three off. Rotating four lates, quick changeover to three earlies, and three lates/four earlies, with variable shifts covering 8, 9 and 10 hrs. 9 & 10 hr shifts over weekends. Confuses the hell out of me and the quick changeover is a killer.
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  17. #17
    mavriktu's Avatar
    mavriktu is offline Patrol Sgt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cidp24 View Post
    I would be in a constant state of not knowing whether I needed to wind my a*& or scratch my watch if I was on that, Mav.
    The reason I had to ask about pm or am was well ,uhh,you see it is like this ,well,you know I was winding my,and then well uhhh,I got an itch and well uhhhh, thanks cid ,not only did I find my watch ,BUT,I saved a lot of money by not having to buy any Preperation H as I found out the problem.

  18. #18
    dapples's Avatar
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    He gets cranky too and acts like a toward the end of the 2 weeks nights....

    I on the other hand can get alot of in

  19. #19
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    We do the three month change at my department, and most seem to like it that way. You are assigned to a team at the beginning of the year, and you move with that team after three months. It goes from days to swings to graves, etc. Seniority on shift determines what days off you get.

    Most people here complain about the 5-8s schedule rather than the three month rotation part. We would LOVE to have 4-10s. I also once brought up the idea of making it a four month rotation, but sometimes you may end up on the same team year to year, and three month rotations prevent you from working the same shift during the same season, year after year. Can you imagine if you only worked graveyards during the winter? At least this way, if you were on graves during the winter, the next time your turn on graves comes it is during warmer weather, etc.

    Most people at my department have worked two rotations straight on a particular shift, and most agree that it got old. We like to change it up after a couple months. The only shift that almost everyone hates is days. (which I'm currently on )
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  20. #20
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    My dept. has a TOTALLY different shift than any of you, and it took our union quite some time to get it for us. Everyone here is happy with it.

    We have permanent shifts. When you're on a shift (which is bidded by seniority)...you're ON IT. There is no nights/days/mids....you're on that shift. Plain and simple.

    When a spot opens up on a shift (due to a retirement, firing, resignation, medical disability, whatever) that spot is opened up, and the highest ranking officer who puts in for it gets it.
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