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Essential items needed for graveyard shift

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  • Essential items needed for graveyard shift

    The last two and a half years I've been working day shift but for this new shift I chose graveyard. I've never worked graves before, even during training I somehow managed to only get swing shift so I'm looking at some suggestions for necessary tools that I need to make the transition from days to graves. One thing I've seen that grave officers have on my department are these lapel flashlights that clip onto the shoulder lapel. Seems to be handy for reading DL's and things in low light conditions without tying up a flashlight in your hands. I'll be purchasing one of those, as well as a GPS. Never had a GPS in the patrol car before but working graveyard my main concern is vehicle pursuits into small residential areas, turning left and right and left and right and not knowing exactly which street I'm on. During day shift that's no problem because I can easily read the street signs but at night I won't have time to shine the spot light on them in a pursuit so I decided to purchase a GPS as well. Any other graveyard specific tool that you guys can think of?

  • #2
    A good flashlight, a box of condoms, and a case of Mountain Dew.

    Comment


    • CaliMan35
      CaliMan35 commented
      Editing a comment
      I have one of the three already

    • Bing_Oh
      Bing_Oh commented
      Editing a comment
      The condoms?

  • #3
    For the first couple of weeks: toothpicks and/or Scotch tape to keep your eyes open.

    Comment


    • #4
      The essential item you need is to find a way of getting some good quality sleep. When I was in uniform, after a long set, I used to imagine bus shelters were people trying to wave me down in the early hours. That ain't good.
      I'm a little bit waayy, a little bit wooah, a little bit woosh, I'm a geezer.

      Comment


      • CaliMan35
        CaliMan35 commented
        Editing a comment
        I think for the first time in my life I may attempt to become a "coffee drinker". I've worked graveyard shifts before but that was years and years ago long before being hired as a LEO.

    • #5
      Coffee. And lots of it.

      Comment


      • #6
        Actually, I strongly suggest that you have TWO good flashlights, both exactly the same, and an in-car charger for them. I personally have two Streamlight Stingers and one is always in my in-car charger.

        You'll also need a nice bottle of hand sanitizer (requirement after touching drunks) and a box of cheap throw-away pens (again, for drunks and those covered in blood after a nice bar fight...the last thing you want is a bloody pen some drunk "victim" in a bar fight used to write out a statement).

        As for the sleep factor, it's not ALL about caffeine (though there are plenty of nights were that's a requirement, too). No, it's about setting a sleep schedule that works for you and STICKING TO IT. Don't alter your sleep schedule on your days off if you can help it. If you have a significant other in the house, have "the talk" with them about not waking you during your strange sleep schedule (many, many people don't understand the problems associated with sleeping on night shift unless they have done it themselves). And, invest in a good set of blackout curtains/blinds for the bedroom...spare no expense on these, because they ARE your best friend working nights.
        Last edited by Bing_Oh; 01-08-2019, 11:19 AM.
        "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
        -Friedrich Nietzsche

        Comment


        • #7
          Agree on the lights, I had a good streamlight on my belt and my regular light in the car....until you get use to it, you will be surprised how many times you jump out of the car then realize you left you light behind.

          Healthy snacks to eat during your shift, keeps you energy level and keeps you from eating crap.

          Staying on your schedule for sleep is essential.

          Comment


          • #8
            The most essential thing you need is proper sleep

            Be aware that you will NEVER get enough sleep & will almost always be tired. (15 yrs of midnight shift work experience ) The DAY I retired I immediate shifted back to sleeping nights and started to feel human again

            Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post

            As for the sleep factor, it's not ALL about caffeine (though there are plenty of nights were that's a requirement, too). No, it's about setting a sleep schedule that works for you and STICKING TO IT. Don't alter your sleep schedule on your days off if you can help it. If you have a significant other in the house, have "the talk" with them about not waking you during your strange sleep schedule (many, many people don't understand the problems associated with sleeping on night shift unless they have done it themselves). And, invest in a good set of blackout curtains/blinds for the bedroom...spare no expense on these, because they ARE your best friend working nights.
            I stopped using caffeine during the shift about 8 yrs into my 15 yrs on night shift. Kept me awake during the day. I started drinking NON caffeinated drinks after midnight and started to sleep "better"

            Originally posted by Kraut0783 View Post
            Staying on your schedule for sleep is essential.
            Only if it works .................It didn't for me. I changed to "days' on my days off because that is what I had to do with my family situation. You do what you have to do .
            I also couldn't "split sleep" like many of my co-workers did. I had to get my sleep in one session . Any thing I missed .........I just missed
            Last edited by Iowa #1603; 01-09-2019, 08:49 AM.
            Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

            Comment


            • Bing_Oh
              Bing_Oh commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm probably around year 13 of straight nights...I try to limit my caffeine intake more because I do pop rather than coffee and all that sugar doesn't help with my already poor eating habits. There are, however, some nights where I do have to have a little extra to keep from falling asleep at a stop light. Fortunately, caffeine doesn't have that much of an effect on me, so I've never really seen adverse sleep from it.

            • just joe
              just joe commented
              Editing a comment
              And I split sleep. So, yes, you 100% need to find what works for you. Everyone has their own way of managing mids.

            • Iowa #1603
              Iowa #1603 commented
              Editing a comment
              I drank Root Beer..........it's non caffeinated...or at least what the cafeteria had on tap was.

              Now I drink zero calorie flavored water (type 2 diabetic the last 4 yrs) I mix it in a bottle and do it over ice

          • #9
            Healthy food/snacks. Midnights upset my stomach & there weren't decent places to eat.

            Comment


            • #10
              I worked my first 5 years on nights and found the best thing for sleeping was a white noise machine. I used to keep a strict sleeping schedule and managed to get about 7 hours of decent sleep during the day, and with little kids running around, making the dog bark... that noise machine was great.
              I make my living on Irish welfare.

              Comment


              • Iowa #1603
                Iowa #1603 commented
                Editing a comment
                I got into the noise machine on the "white noise" setting. We still use it 8 yrs after retirement !!!!!!

            • #11
              Originally posted by CaliMan35 View Post
              The last two and a half years I've been working day shift but for this new shift I chose graveyard. I've never worked graves before, even during training I somehow managed to only get swing shift so I'm looking at some suggestions for necessary tools that I need to make the transition from days to graves. One thing I've seen that grave officers have on my department are these lapel flashlights that clip onto the shoulder lapel. Seems to be handy for reading DL's and things in low light conditions without tying up a flashlight in your hands. I'll be purchasing one of those, as well as a GPS. Never had a GPS in the patrol car before but working graveyard my main concern is vehicle pursuits into small residential areas, turning left and right and left and right and not knowing exactly which street I'm on. During day shift that's no problem because I can easily read the street signs but at night I won't have time to shine the spot light on them in a pursuit so I decided to purchase a GPS as well. Any other graveyard specific tool that you guys can think of?
              Sleep, including black-out of lighting and NO white-noise generator / fan / other noisy devices (yes, I battle my wife over this, and lose!).
              Flashlights, and extra primary cells (non-rechargeable batteries) or a charging system. Small and either black anodized aluminum or high-quality non-metal body. High-visibility cone if you have to conduct traffic / scene-access control.
              Body camera, if not issued one.
              Dash camera, if not issued one.
              High-visibility vest if you have to conduct traffic / scene-access control - yes, you are brighter as a shooting target, but can be seen and POSSIBLY avoided by vehicle operators (IF they are sober!).

              Does your Agency not equip your patrol vehicles with in-car computers with GPS / real-time mapping back to your dispatch?!
              #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
              Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
              RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
              Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
              "Smile" - no!

              Comment


              • #12
                My brother has been on straight nights forever, and he told me the best thing he ever did was have his wife (a Suzy-Homemaker type) make him a set of quilted blackout blinds for their bedroom that magnetically sealed to the window frame. Kept his room dark as a cave and muffled outside sound (vehicle traffic, lawnmowers, etc.) and allowed him to sleep for a full 6-8 hours every day.

                Comment


                • scotty_appleton814
                  scotty_appleton814 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I, for one, am very jealous of your brother. For one, his awesome sleep after working nights. And 2 for his awesome wife that made that sleep happen....

                • Bing_Oh
                  Bing_Oh commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Has his wife considered a side job? Good blackouts are expensive...she could probably make good money catering to cops on nights with those!

                • Iowa #1603
                  Iowa #1603 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Light never bothered me...............yes we had drapes but they were not black out curtains. but I could sleep with the overhead lights on.

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