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Look at the 12-Hour Shift: The Lincoln Police Department Study

NCJ Number
THE POLICE CHIEF Volume: 75 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2008 Pages: 60,62,63
Jon Sundermeier
Date Published
March 2008
3 pages
This article presents the features and evaluation results for the Lincoln Police Department's (Nebraska) trial use of 12-hour shifts.
Participating officers' views of the 12-hour shift were very favorable. Two of the 37 officers reported that before participating in the new schedule, they were actively looking for a career change. They reported that the 12-hour shifts provided the right balance of work and free-time and renewed their enthusiasm for police work. Job satisfaction and morale were extremely high. Officers reported feeling more rested and ready to return to work after days off, although they noted that on their work days there was little time for any off-duty activities. Objective data suggest that the 12-hour shift did not have an adverse impact on the quality of service provided, and there was no negative financial impact on the department. There was a trend toward less sick leave for the officers participating in the 12-hour shift. The Lincoln Police Department, which has over 300 sworn officers, placed 37 officers and supervisors under the 12-hour shifts, while the rest of the department remained on the more traditional 8-hour shifts, sprinkled with some 10-hour shifts. The schedule was constructed with input from the police union. The 12-hour system provided a day off for every day worked. During a 2-week pay period, an additional 4 hours of flextime were built into the schedule. Officers were allowed to take it at any time during the pay period and in whatever increments they chose, so long as it was approved by his/her supervisor. At the end of 6 months, the LPD surveyed all 37 officers and their sergeants regarding their attitudes toward and feedback on the 12-hour shifts.