Reducing overtime costs and managing overtime more efficiently is a shared goal amongst most law enforcement agencies. Similar to other public safety industries, police overtime is extremely common, and particularly mandatory overtime. Mandatory overtime is used when there is a shortage of officers, requiring officers to work overtime to fill vacant patrol positions. Officers also accrue overtime through extra-duty assignments, such as college sporting events, weekly concert performances, and nightlife entertainment.
Police overtime management is a difficult task if completely manually. Manual overtime management requires plenty of back-and-forth communication in order to schedule and coordinate off-duty assignments and overtime shifts. It also fails to provide police agencies with automated overtime insights and reports, automated shift assignments, smart scheduling, fatigue alerts and more. For these reasons, implementing automated overtime management software improves your agency operations greatly over the short- and long term. Here are five benefits of automated police overtime management.
- Automated police overtime management will improve your police department’s scheduling efficiency
- Automated police overtime management improves scheduling visibility
- Overtime management software reduces risk and ensures compliance
- Automated overtime management software creates an equitable overtime process
- Automated police overtime will save your department money
Automated police overtime management will improve your police department’s scheduling efficiency
Automating your overtime management significantly reduces the hours spent on overtime coordinating and scheduling. Coordinating and scheduling your overtime manually requires a lot of back-and-forth communication. By automating your overtime, agencies simply post overtime shifts from wherever they are and have staff instantly notified. Fast signups ensure overtime shifts are filled in minutes, reducing the amount of time spent creating overtime schedules and filling shift assignments.
Automated police overtime management improves scheduling visibility
Visibility into overtime spend is an important benefit of automated police overtime management. By using automated overtime software, police agencies can utilize reports and insights to see what exactly is contributing to overtime. These overtime reports and insights can help make budgets go further and support efficient cost recovery. Most overtime management systems allow schedulers to view reports that automatically calculate total overtime hours worked by each officer during a certain period of time. This visibility allows schedulers to make changes to shift assignments, in order to allocate overtime assignments fairly and equitably.
An automated overtime management system also gives a bird’s-eye-view into your entire agency schedule, so you know where every officer is at all times. This visibility reduces the necessary back-and-forth communication that a manual overtime system requires.
Overtime management software reduces risk and ensures compliance
Every police department should keep overtime allocation compliant. Some workforce management software, like InTime’s, allocates overtime based on set agency rules, configured by the agency. Automated software chooses the best officer for the shift based on performance, seniority, and training requirements. This removes the chance of any employee being scheduled for an overtime shift they’re not qualified for. Rule-based assignments mitigate risks like fatigue and non-training compliance, and allow you to support the safety of your police officers at all times.
Automated overtime management software creates an equitable overtime process
It can be difficult and time consuming to allocate overtime shifts fairly if your agency is manually managing your police overtime distribution. An automated overtime management system will choose the most qualified employee to ensure equitable overtime distribution. The system automatically chooses qualified employees with the least amount of overtime to work the shift, which reduces your overtime costs, ensures equitable allocation of shifts and removes any risk of perceived bias.
Automated police overtime will save your department money
The largest benefit of an automated police overtime system is cost reduction. Automated overtime management gives you full visibility into what activities are contributing into overtime, allowing your scheduling team to take appropriate action to reduce overtime costs. It also increases your budgeting accuracy, as schedulers now have the visibility to see where overtime budgets are being spent. With accurate budget forecasting, police agencies can proactively reallocate money to different departments, in an effort to stay within budget.
The bottom line
The result of each one of the above benefits—efficiency, overtime visibility, compliance, and fairness—contributes to cost reduction for law enforcement agencies. Automating your police overtime management system is the best way to reduce your overtime costs while continuing to run a fair and efficient law enforcement department.