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6 of the Best 8-Hour Shift Schedules to Cover 24x7

Law enforcement schedules can be a headache to create and maintain. 

Do you use 12, 10, or 8-hour shifts? There are pros and cons to each but this article will provide some insight for those looking at 8-hour shift schedules.

8-hour shift schedules for 24x7 coverage provide safer, more reasonable work shifts for employees. However, they do not allow for as many full days off. 


If 8-hour shifts are required or something your department prefers, you do have some options.

These examples can get you started but will not be able to directly tell you how you should set up your schedule.

Each department will handle their schedule a little different.

How you set up payroll can also have an effect on which rotation you choose.


**Since these are 8-hour shift schedule templates, all 6 examples require 3 squads or platoons, one each covering a different shift. So, you will have to take the templates displayed and add 2 more copies of them. I have only included the first squad/platoon so it does not become monotonous. One squad will be for the night shift and one will be for the swing/mid shift.


View this article in a PDF here.


The 6 examples are:

  1. [5 on 2 off] [5 on 3 off]
  2. [5 on 2 off]
  3. [4 on 2 off]
  4. [6 on 3 off] [5 on 3 off] [6 on 2 off x4]
  5. [6 on 2 off] [7 on 4 off] [7 on 2 off]
  6. [5 on 2 off] [4 on 2 off]


1. [5 on 2 off] [5 on 3 off]

This is one of the bigger templates with a rotation lasting 15 weeks.

The officer will work 5 days on, 2 days off, 5 days on, and 3 days off.

We noticed this pattern was used in law enforcement departments ranging from 25-50 people.

(Even though we list what size the departments are, that does not mean a department larger/smaller cannot also be successful with the particular rotation)

 Template 1 5,2,5,3.png

 Template 2 5,2,5,3.png

 Template 3 5,2,5,3.png



2. [5 on 2 off]

The 5 days on, 2 days off rotating shift schedule can be set up a few different ways.

This is the most known 8-hour schedule.

Below are 7 different one-week templates.

We have seen this pattern used in departments from 15 all the way up to 175 people.

 5on 2 off all templates.png

For this one, you do not have to use all the templates. 

We have seen departments use 1, 3 and 5 or 2, 4 and 6. 

Mix and match to find the templates that will work best for your department.


With the [5 on 2 off] you can optionally do something like the template displayed below:

 Other option for 5on 2 off.png

This way, shift times are dispersed evenly.

However, changing shift times that often can mess with your sleep schedule.

Extending each shift (day, mid, night) to 4 or more weeks could provide a viable solution.



3. [4 on 2 off]

The [4 on 2 off] rotating shift schedule is shown below with 3, 6-week templates.

Law enforcement departments ranging from 35-50 people use this schedule.

All in One 4 on 2 off.png



Download all 6 examples to print and share here!


4. [6 on 3 off] [5 on 3 off] [6 on 2 off x4]

This shift pattern has been used in departments sized 50-75 people

7 templates lasting 7 weeks are shown below.

However, we did see some departments only use 1,3 and 5 or 2, 4 and 6.

This is one you can mix and match depending on your specific needs.

6 on 3 off... Template 1.png

 6 on 3 off... Template 2.png

 6 on 3 off... Template 3.png

 6 on 3 off... Template 3.png

 6 on 3 off... Template 4.png

 6 on 3 off... Template 5.png

6 on 3 off... Template 6.png

6 on 3 off... Template 7.png



5. [6 on 2 off] [7 on 4 off] [7 on 2 off]

This is a 4-week rotation where the person will work 6 days, have off 2 days, work 7 days, have off for 4 days, work another 7 days, and have off for 2 days.

This is a pretty intense schedule working 7 days in a row twice. 

4 templates are required to cover round the clock.

Departments ranging 50-75 people use this shift pattern.

4 Templates... 6 on 2 off.png


6. [5 on 2 off] [4 on 2 off]

With this 13-week rotation, the officer will work 5 days, have off 2 days, work 4 days, and have off 2 days.

3 templates are required to cover 24/7. 

Departments in the study sized 25-35 people used this rotation.

5 on 2 off 4 on 2 off - 1.png

5 on 2 off 4 on 2 off - 2.png

5 on 2 off 4 on 2 off - 3.png



Some 8-hour shift schedule examples are more complex than others.

27.66% of PlanIt Police Scheduling Software users schedule with 8-hour shifts.

Check out the top 3 most used 8-hour schedules here


All 8-hour shift schedules require a mid, swing and night shift which can be more difficult to manage. 

Your officers will definitely appreciate the shorter shift lengths but time off will not seem as frequent. 

Have any insight about 8-hour shifts? Comment below!



To see the full details of these schedules, download the PDF below!

Download 8-Hour Examples Here




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PlanIt Police scheduling software is extremely powerful yet easy-to-use. It is meant to simplify scheduling and enhance communication for law enforcement agencies. PlanIt was developed by Ragnasoft, Inc who have specialized in public safety scheduling solutions for over 10 years.

Contact Us

PO BOX 4903
Lancaster PA 17604
717-925-3908 (fax)
Contact Us
PlanIt Police

PlanIt Police is an online scheduling system for police departments. PlanIt is developed by Ragnasoft, Inc which has specialized in public safety scheduling solutions for over 10 years.

Our Contacts

PO BOX 4903
Lancaster, PA 17604
Phone: 1-866-471-2001
Fax: 1-717-925-3908
Email: sales@planitschedule.com