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SPD Announces Shift Schedule Change

The Seattle Police Department is announcing a new shift schedule for all patrol officers, effective Wednesday, February 15th. The change is the result of an extensive review process to ensure SPD has adequate staffing during the peak hours of calls for service — despite limited staff.  

Patrol shifts will now have overlapping hours to reduce low staffing during shift changes. The change will also allow more flexibility for addressing the recent short staffing the department has been experiencing, especially five days a week.   

The new shifts will also make SPD more competitive with other local agencies by offering a better work schedule, which the department hopes will encourage officer wellness and retention. Instead of working 9-hour shifts, officers will now work 10-hour shifts. All SPD patrol officers will move from four-days-on, two-days-off to four-days-on, three-days-off. 

Currently, SPD must augment all watches at all precincts everyday with officers on over time. The department will still need to augment shifts, however, by offering officers an additional day off each week, SPD hopes to reduce the toll on their physical and emotional health, which have led to an increase in retirements and resignations.   

Department leadership will be watching closely and will make any adjustments necessary to limit potential impacts on SPD response times and public safety.