LESSON 2/TASK 1
and turmoil. The number of shift patterns is almost infinite. Each installation has peculiarities of its own
that require special consideration. The shift pattern should be responsive to the mission, while
considering the welfare of the personnel involved. MP assets must be available when needed. When
possible, squad and platoon integrity should be maintained. This allows for more consistent
supervision and training. It also permits better distribution of non-operational tasks. Unit integrity
enhances morale and espirit d'corps.
The methods used to design shifts are detailed and involve the analysis of the law enforcement mission
and the needs of the personnel. The shift design process must also take into account:
o Analysis of the existing work schedule to determine its effectiveness.
o Determination of the MP and security force staffing requirements.
o Allocation of personnel based on crime and/or other analysis.
o Determination of the type of work schedule that would most effectively suit the needs of the
Regardless of which type shift schedule is designed, consideration should be given to the shift
preference of personnel as much as possible without interfering with mission accomplishment. For
more detailed information on how to design a shift, see the US Department of Housing and Urban
Development publication: "Work Schedule Design Handbook: Methods for Assigning Employees' Work
Shifts and Days Off."
Some of the more common military police shift designs are described briefly in the following
9 & 3. This is one of the most common shift designs. The normal shift is nine days on and three days
off. The unit is organized into four, generally equal, shifts. Patrol personnel work 42 hours per seven
day week. When used, each day is divided into three shifts. Each of the four shifts then rotate through
three days on different tours. As a result, there is a great deal of turbulence because of these frequent
rotations. This shift schedule produces fatigue and rearranged sleeping and eating schedules.