“I have patrol officers who are assigned routes in different areas of the city. How do I go about setting up their work schedules and find out if I have adequate shift coverage?”

The following article will cover how to use Snap Schedule Employee Scheduling Software to  create a schedule which will allow for scheduling police patrol officers into different beats, districts, or areas of  jurisdictions. You’ll first create the different patrol routes as locations in Snap Schedule and define which officers are authorized to work on these various routes. Then, you’ll create shifts for these different patrol routes for the times that you need officers on duty. To create the work schedule, simply select the employees and assign them to the appropriate shifts. Snap Schedule will warn you if a police officer is not authorized to work at a particular shift or beat (location). To find out if you have adequate shift coverage, use the Shift Coverage Planner located in the Shift view of Snap Schedule.

Let’s walk through an example for a fictitious police department with three different patrol routes that need to be patrolled 24/7 using three 8 hour shifts.

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We’ll first want to create an individual location for each patrol route. Under the Manage tab, click on the Locations button in the top ribbon. After clicking on the “Create a New Shift Location” link, fill out the blank location form with the patrol route information.

After creating locations and authorizing your employees, we’ll now need to create the shifts for these patrol routes. Click on the Shifts button in the top ribbon and then click on the “Create a new Shift” link to open a blank shift form. Create the three 8 hour shifts for each patrol route that you have and set the location field for the appropriate shift location.

After creating shifts, under the Schedule tab click on the arrow underneath the Daily View button in the top ribbon and select Daily View by Shift. You’ll now see the shifts you’ve created on the left column of the schedule view. You can now drag-and-drop employees to assign police officers to these shifts for each day of the week. You can also customize the view by using the Sort and Filter options located just above the schedule view.

The Shift View is another variation of the Daily View by Shift, but also adds another helpful feature. In the Shift Coverage Planner at the bottom of the Shift View you can enter requirements for how many officers you need for each shift. In this example, we have different positions created so that you can easily see whether the shift schedule meets your demand for each level of command. The data from this Shift Coverage Planner can also be viewed in a graphical format in the Schedule Outlook if that view better meets your needs.

With this schedule configuration you can now easily schedule police officers for patrol routes, and by using the Shift Coverage Planner you can ensure that adequate police officers with the required skills and positions are scheduled for each shift.