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Top 3 Schedule Examples for 24x7 Coverage with 8 Hour Shifts

Exploring new ways to schedule patrol? You've come to the right place. We specialize in public safety scheduling software so we know a thing or two about 24x7 coverage.

Less than 30% of PlanIt Schedule Users schedule with 8 hour shifts.

While they keep the shift per day feasible, they don't allow for as many days off.


You may be required to use 8 hour shifts but don't worry, there are a couple different options.

In this article, we will list the top 3, 8 hour rotations that we have seen used.

You can also download a whole list of 8 hour shift schedule examples to evaluate for yourself!


The Top 3 Rotations are:

  1. [5 on 2 off]
  2. [4 on 2 off]
  3. [5 on 2 off] [5 on 3 off]


[5 on 2 off]

This rotation only requires one-week templates but 3 squads: one for day shift, one for mid shift, one for night shift. Departments ranging from 15 people to 175+ people use this rotation.

*** What is a template? - a template could be a single employee or a squad of employees working the same shifts. This would depend upon your department size and minimum staffing levels.

 5 on 2 off Schedule Templates


Repeat this 8 hour shift schedule template for 2 more squads with different shift times to cover 24x7.

You do not have to use all the templates.

You can choose 1, 3, and 5 or 2, 4, and 6 or mix and match depending on your specific requirements.


The [5 on 2 off] is definitely the most known and widely used from small to large organizations. But, that does not mean that it is the best fit for every department.


[4 on 2 off]

This rotation requires 3, 6-week templates.

You will need 3 squads to cover a day, mid, and night shift.

Departments ranging anywhere from 35-50 people use the [4 on 2 off] rotation.


 4 on 2 off Schedule Template

 Use the template examples above and repeat for 2 more squads with different shift times to cover 24x7.


Download over 5 different 8 hour shift schedule examples here


[5 on 2 off] [5 on 3 off]

This 8 hour shift schedule can be used in any department but we have seen it used by departments sized 25-50 people.

It uses 3 templates and 3 squads to cover day, mid and night shift.

 5 on 2 off 5 on 3 off Templates

 5 on 2 off 5 on 3 off Templates

 5 on 2 off 5 on 3 off Templates

 Repeat for 2 more squads with different shift times (mids and nights) to cover 24x7.


Pros and cons to using 8 hour shifts:


  • Average work day hours - officers are less likely to get fatigued
  • Better work/life balance
  • Fair to employees if you rotate shift times
  • Fewer errors made on duty 


  • More days on duty (comparing to 10 or 12 hour shifts)
  • Requires 3 shifts to cover the whole day
  • Commuting more days vs.10 or 12 hr shifts


While these officer scheduling examples are in the format of Word or Excel, they can all be handled with Scheduling Templates in officer scheduling software.

Using templates in scheduling software will allow you to publish the schedules for as long as you need to.

You can also switch employees from one template to another easily. 

To learn more about features in law enforcement scheduling software, please click here.



Want to take these examples with you?

Download the 8 hour schedule examples in a PDF for sharing and printing below!

Download 8-Hour Examples Here





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About Us

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