Shift scheduling for police and law enforcement agencies is a demanding task. Employees of police departments and law enforcement agencies work around the clock and face demanding obstacles daily. Their schedules have varying hours and specific officers must be scheduled for certain shifts based on training requirements, seniority, and specialty assignments. Luckily, many software tools are available to make law enforcement scheduling easier, quicker, and error-free.
Like most things, not all scheduling software for law enforcement agencies are made the same. When looking for scheduling software for your agency, we recommend shopping for software that includes these five software extras.
Here are the top 5 features that scheduling software should have for police departments.
- Automated Timekeeping
- Automated Shift Bidding
- Bulk Editing Tools
- Payroll Integration
- Integrated Training
Automated timekeeping is one of the most useful software features police agencies should look for. With automated timekeeping, timesheets can flow directly from your schedule to your payroll, freeing up time and reducing the chance of error.
Manually adding up your officers’ time every day, week, or pay period isn’t an efficient use of time, especially for large agencies. Manual timekeeping is a labor-intensive practice and will quickly increase the amount of administrative overtime. By switching to an automated timekeeping system, your agency can reduce a significant portion of operation costs by controlling how much time is spent on administrative labor.
Automated timekeeping also reduces payroll errors. Accurate timekeeping is one of the most crucial parts of any organization, and inaccurate payroll can build distrust within your agency. You want to ensure your team is always paid accurately and on time.
Automated Shift Bidding
One of the biggest headaches of law enforcement scheduling is shift bid assignments. Manual shift bid assignments can take administrative teams hours to complete and can sometimes be prone to errors. Choosing a police scheduling software system that has shift bidding as an extra add-on will allow you to complete your shift bidding process in half the time.
In the case of InTime’s shift bidding module, your agency can configure its scheduling system with its agency rules. By doing this, you can define a sorting sequence for shift bidding based on seniority, training compliance and more. An automated shift bidding system removes any chance of perceived favoritism within your agency and takes all risk out of the shift bidding process for law enforcement agencies.
Choosing a scheduling software that has the option to integrate with your payroll system will save time and reduce the likelihood of errors. With payroll integration, you won’t have to worry about manual timesheets and inaccurate payroll. Your agency can rely on a system that pays each officer out at the right time, and at the right rate.
Payroll integration is especially important for overtime management, extra duty assignments and last-minute bulk editing. The last thing you want is to assign extra duty shifts or make scheduling changes and not have those changes reflected on your payroll.
Bulk Editing Tool
With hundreds of schedules in the department, it’s unlikely that your administrative team has time to edit each individual schedule when making a scheduling change. For this reason, one of the best police scheduling software features you should look for is a bulk editing tool. With a bulk or mass edit tool, your administrators will easily be able to make large adjustments to every department schedule, at the same time.
Integrated Training Schedule
Integrating your training schedule with your department’s regular schedule will make training management easier for your agency. Integrating your personnel training allows your agency to track and manage your staff’s certifications, training, and qualifications right from your schedule. Not only will this give your supervisors a bird’s-eye view of your department’s training schedule, but it will also ensure training compliance prior to shift assignments.
Integrating your training schedule will also help you track training performance and certifications from one interface. You can manage your agency’s training hours, courses, levels and promotions. For large-scale agencies, having an integrated training schedule will allow you to ensure training compliance and assignment requirements.
The bottom line
Because scheduling for police departments is so complex, agencies should look into implementing software features that reduce labor costs and minimize the chance of administrative errors. For more information on the best police officer scheduling tools, read this blog post or visit our Product Overview page.