How Many Hours Do Police Officers Work?

Police officers work 24/7 to ensure the security of every individual. Police officers are seen as heroes in our society. How many hours do police officers work?

Police officers need to work a minimum of 40 hours per week, which usually goes more than that because, in every society, the role of the police is very important, as they help us and the communities live a secure life by minimizing and controlling crime and social threats.

And due to their service and responsibilities, their working hours aren’t like the typical workers or a 9-5 job; a police officer has to work different shifts in a week/month, and shifts can be anytime in 24hours. 

Being a police officer will earn lots of things from respect to a good yearly salary and tons of other benefits, but before becoming a police officer, you must know how many hours do police officers work, what are the duties a police officer has and how being a police officer impacts life.

How Many Hours Do Police Officers Work?

Though police officers work 40 hours a week, but a police officer’s working hours mainly depend on a few factors, especially on their working area and department. No matter where you work, police departments need police officers to work seven days a week around the clock to give the people a safer community and country.

And to serve people 24/7 in 365 days, police officers work in different shifts, irregular hours, overtime, etc. Let’s find out how many hours do police officers work and what are the shifts in their duty. 

Normal Working Hours: Many police officers work like other 9-5 professionals. During normal working hours, police officers aren’t required to work more than 8 hours a day except on weekends and other national holidays. 

Common Working hours: Almost all police officers work between 10to 12 hours per shift/day; this is regarded as typical working hours for police officers.  

What Are The Working Shifts Of Police Officers?

As police officers need to work round the clock (24 hours). They have three different shifts to ensure people’s safety and can respond promptly whenever they are called upon.

Let’s see the shifts that police officers work in:

First Shift: This shift is also called the morning shift; the first shift for police officers usually starts from 7/8 or 9 am in the morning. 

Evening Shift: Before first shift police officers finish their working hours, evening shift police officers join their workplace and continue their work right after the first shift officer leaves. 

The evening or afternoon shift begins from 3/4 or 5 pm and works until the graveyard or night shift starts. 

Night shift: Also known as graveyard shift, begins at 11 pm and ends 6/7 am in the morning. All types of police departments are required to work the night shift. 

how many hours do police officers work

What Are Police Department Or Agencies That Police Officers Work?

Although the work of the police is the same, there is also variety in the police departments. Some of the police departments in the United States are:

  • Airport Police department 

These police officers work within the boundaries of airports. Their main focus is on maintaining airport security. And they never do or have duties outside airports. 

  • Traffic Police department

Traffic police are responsible for controlling traffic jams and road safety on highway and streets. They also handle traffic accidents on the road.

  • County Sheriff’s Office

County sheriffs are those whose duty is to keep the county or the district they are working in safe and secure. Sheriffs

  • Transit Police

Transit police officers work in railway stations, bus stations, subway stations, and various types of transport-related sectors. They keep this place safe from crimes like pickpocketing and robbing. 

  • City Police 

City police are normal police officers; their duty is to patrol the roads of the city and local communities; they spend their time patrolling by vehicle, which allows them to be on crime scenes faster.  

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Is It Difficult To Manage Work-Life Balance As A Police Officer?

Can police officers have a work-life balance? This has been a hot topic among police officers, and there have been many disputes about this issue. So what does reality say? 

To find out whether the police officers can have a work-life balance or not, we’ve to consider a few elements like working hours, workplace, and responsibility, and as we already know about their working hours, work setting, and responsibilities, which make it’s easier for us to come to a conclusion on their work-life balance. 

Most police officers work nearly 12 hours, and in emergency cases, it increases even more in emergency times; they also need to respond while off-duty. Taking all of this into consideration, we can say that it’s hard for the police officer to have a work-life balance.

Nevertheless, it’s not like they don’t get to spend time with their families and friends; some police officers say their profession allows them to stay in touch with those they love. But due to their job nature, it is hard for them to maintain a work-life balance like other professionals. 

how many hours do police officers work

What Does A Police Officer Do In Their Working Hours?

Police officers do many tasks while on duty to guarantee the safety of people’s lives and property. The responsibilities of a police officer in their working hours are:

  • Response to emergency

A police officer responds to the 911 emergency call of people within their work radius. If there is a theft or any other crime, the police officer will take care of it, and if any medical assistance is needed on the spot, they’ll call medical service.

  • Patrolling

Police officers patrol the area they are appointed to. Police patrolling helps reduce the crime rates and be present quickly in accidents or crime places.\

  • Investigation

To determine what happened during a crime or incident of violence, a police officer investigates to assess how it happened, the number of casualties, and probable cause.

  • Make Sure Safe Commuting

Traffic police officers make sure that the road is safe for everyone by patrolling and keeping an eye out for traffic violations like driving under the influence, speeding, and lane changing. Sometimes traffic police give tickets for violations and arrest if necessary. 

  • Arresting Criminal

Based on arrest warrants, police officers arrest criminals by verifying their identity and processing them to jail and courts based on arrest warrants.