Campus police departments play an invaluable role in keeping college and university campuses safe for students, employees and visitors. Like other police departments, your campus police department needs qualified staff in desk, response and patrol roles. Whether they are sworn police officers or administrative support staff, they need to fill schedules that ensure full, 24/7 coverage across campus.
Given that there’s almost always something happening on campus, you need an easy way to schedule employees, keep shifts staffed and minimize gaps in coverage. To help you stay productive and ready for whatever the day brings, Aladtec’s fully customizable, cloud-based scheduling solution offers efficient tools to simplify even your most complex campus police scheduling challenges.
Campus Police Scheduling Challenges
Campus police officers have long been a regular fixture at most colleges and universities. In fact, according to a research from the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 92% of public campuses employ sworn police officers and about 38% of private campuses do too.
Although college campuses vary in size and location, they all keep campus police busy. In addition to responding to crimes such as robberies, assaults and property damage, campus police are also responsible for keeping the peace during sporting events and creating a safe environment for students and visitors. Many campus police departments also coordinate activities with local municipal police. According to the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), most campus police departments are “analogous to their local, county and state counterparts in policing.”
Given the broad range of responsibilities campus police tackle each day, it’s not uncommon for departments to face many scheduling challenges, such as finding backups for absent employees and managing overtime. These challenges become even more worrisome if your campus police department relies on manual scheduling methods, such as paper timesheets and emails. Manual workflows make it harder to avoid overscheduling and excessive overtime, and they also open the door to scheduling disputes and errors that can damage employee morale.
Consider the following scheduling challenges that can damage your police department’s efficiency and daily operations:
- Scheduling gaps: Both unexpected and planned time off can result in a lack of coverage for a particular shift, particularly if you’re relying on text, phone or face-to-face communication of employee absences. Delayed messages and miscommunications can lead to inadequate coverage for emergency response and regular patrols.
- Overtime management issues: Admissions events, conferences and campus sporting events often create opportunities for overtime. However, it can be difficult to assign overtime fairly without an easy way for employees to learn about and sign up for overtime hours.
- Labor costs: As schedules change throughout the year, it can be difficult to understand the impact overtime and shift changes have on your budget. As overtime increases, you might not find out you’ve gone over budget until the end of the pay period or later.
- Limited transparency: Without a cloud-based scheduling solution with mobile capability, employees don’t get a complete view of their schedules. They need to check a board or ask the lieutenant about updates, limiting transparency and creating more opportunities for scheduling errors.
How Aladtec Improves Employee Scheduling for Campus Police
Despite the scheduling challenges that can affect campus police departments of any size, today’s modern scheduling tools make it easier to build and communicate employee schedules, reduce scheduling mistakes and control overtime expenses.
TCP’s Aladtec scheduling solution is specifically designed for public safety, making it an ideal scheduling tool for campus police. Here are the key benefits the Aladtec solution offers to help you save time and build an efficient, well-run campus police department:
Automates the Scheduling Process
Say goodbye to spreadsheets, paper calendars and wall-mounted whiteboard schedules. Aladtec’s scheduling software allows you to create and fill schedules based on employee availability and other important parameters, including their rank, hours worked and overtime eligibility. Shift rotations no longer require time-consuming manual efforts. Instead, the system does the legwork for you. Once schedules are ready for viewing, employees can view their schedules on any computer or mobile device.
Simplifies Complex Scheduling
In addition to automating the scheduling process, Aladtec’s solution helps campus police chiefs and lieutenants save time and reduce the frustration associated with complex scheduling challenges. For example, before making the transition to Aladtec, the SUNY-Cortland University Police Department used paper to manage the complex process of scheduling officers’ days, evenings, and nights on a 12-week rotation.
When the department moved to Aladtec, the lieutenant responsible for scheduling noted, “… Aladtec has saved us (me in particular) countless hours in order to manage our time off, scheduling open shifts, and assignments.”
Now, they no longer rely on paper scheduling and have customized the Aladtec system to meet their unique needs. “(Aladtec) has reconfigured all our scheduling issues, from normal shifts to additional events to overtime. It has been tailored for our needs and is specific to our department,” the lieutenant said.
Improves Scheduling Communication and Transparency
Aladtec’s messaging tools make it easy to send shift coverage requests and notify employees about available overtime. You can also configure the system to send emails and texts to specific individuals and groups. Employees can also submit their work availability, sign up for shifts and trade shifts with coworkers based on pre-set permissions. As a result, employees have greater visibility and a pain-free process for checking and changing their schedules. As the University of North Dakota Police Department discovered when it shifted to Aladtec, “The officers are literally able to see their schedule. If they want to trade shifts within the two-week period, they’re able to do that. It really takes a lot of the middle person out.”
Integrates with Time Tracking and Payroll
Scheduling can’t happen in a vacuum, so Aladtec’s scheduling software also seamlessly integrates with other solutions to help you manage your entire workforce better. For example, the TCP Aladtec time-clock module allows you to track employee time and attendance and run payroll processes based on time-clock hours. And with customizable payroll integration, you can ensure consistency between worked hours and pay. You can also generate reports to stay on top of labor costs related to regular hours and overtime.
Modernize Employee Scheduling in Your Campus Police Department
Your campus police employees work hard to serve the community and keep your campus safe. You can reward their dedication and hard work with an easy-to-use solution that tells them when they’re scheduled to work, their approved days off, and the opportunities for overtime.
Automating your scheduling process doesn’t just serve employees. It also offers you a headache-free way to create and update schedules, so you can be assured of having the right staff on the job at the right times. And with customizable tools for reporting, you can stay on top of labor costs while maintaining department productivity. To see why so many public safety organizations trust TCP’s Aladtec scheduling solutions, schedule a demo today.