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LAPD Shifts/Watches

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  • LAPD Shifts/Watches

    I'm an amateur crime fiction writer, (hopefully published one day) mainly writing about my favorite department, LAPD. Accuracy is very important to me (Jack Webb is my God, HA!) I was wondering if anyone could give me the appropriate start and end times for the typical LAPD shifts? I.E.: Morning Watch, Day Watch, Mid Watch and PM Watch. Thanks for your help. It is greatly appreciated and please stay safe.
    I'm not a cop, just a thankful citizen.

    http://www.fictionpress.com/~williambushman

  • #2
    Since LAPD went to the compressed work schedule department wide in 2002 it varies. There used to be 5 watches ( am, day, pm, mid day and mid pm watches) in every division under the 5/8 schedule. Now the watches go by number ( watch 2, 3, 4, 5 might be more depending on the division). The basic watches in patrol and traffic divisions are 12 hours, which are watch 2 (days) and watch 3 (pm). They start anytime between 0500 to 0700 for days and 1700-1900 for pm. The other watches (mid watches 4 & 5 etc) vary by division size and are either 10 or 12 hour shifts, but they are mostly 10 hour shifts. All of the other details (admin, detectives, specialized units etc) are generally 10 hour shifts. There are very few 8 hour shift jobs left these days.
    Last edited by John Shaft; 02-02-2011, 02:25 AM. Reason: correction

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    • #3
      Thank you so much! That is exactly the answer that I was looking for. This will help a lot. One more question: how often do the officers switch watches? Going from PM to Days, for example. Is that at the end of the deployment period?
      Last edited by 70David; 02-02-2011, 02:41 AM. Reason: grammar
      I'm not a cop, just a thankful citizen.

      http://www.fictionpress.com/~williambushman

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      • #4
        Some officers jump around to different watches by request. Others tend to stick to one watch if they can help it. But unless you've got an ***load of time on the job and a great deal of seniority in patrol, you are never really immune from being bumped from one watch to another.

        To answer your question, if you are going to change watches, yes then it would be at the end of the DP. It is not common practice to change watches mid-DP, because the schedules are posted one DP at a time.

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        • #5
          Okay, that's what I thought. Thanks for confirming it. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.
          I'm not a cop, just a thankful citizen.

          http://www.fictionpress.com/~williambushman

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          • #6
            You have to stay on a watch a minimum of 3 months (DP) before you can change watches. After 6 months you can be bumped if someone else wants to go to your watch and nobody else have been on the watch longer than you. If that didn't make any sense, the officer who have been on the watch the longest (6 months or more) will be bumped to make room for the officer requesting the watch change. Only the top 15% in seniority in a division can be exempted from the bump rule. Probationary officers (P-1) do not count since the get rotated out of their watches every two to 3 months or training purposes. A brand new P-2 have just as much right to go to any watch he/she chooses as a 15 yr vet as long as they do the minimum time and someone is bumpable. If you think this is confusing try reading the manuel section about this, it's even more confusing lol.

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            • #7
              Ok, I think I'm starting to get it. How many officers at a time would switch shifts? For example, I write stories about 8 coppers working pm watch. I wanted to have them switch to day watch/watch 2 on their next deployment. Is that plausible? Also, how long does an average DP last? Sorry for all of the questions, I just want to get it right. Thanks again.
              I'm not a cop, just a thankful citizen.

              http://www.fictionpress.com/~williambushman

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              • #8
                Whoops. Saw you already answered the DP question.
                I'm not a cop, just a thankful citizen.

                http://www.fictionpress.com/~williambushman

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                • #9
                  8 officers switching to another watch is possible as long as someone replaces them and there are 8 officers on the other watch that are either leaving or are bumpable. A DP is 28 days (exactly 4 weeks), always starts on a Sunday.

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                  • #10
                    Awesome. Thank you so much. I was stuck on that part.
                    I'm not a cop, just a thankful citizen.

                    http://www.fictionpress.com/~williambushman

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by John Shaft View Post
                      You have to stay on a watch a minimum of 3 months (DP) before you can change watches. After 6 months you can be bumped if someone else wants to go to your watch and nobody else have been on the watch longer than you. If that didn't make any sense, the officer who have been on the watch the longest (6 months or more) will be bumped to make room for the officer requesting the watch change. Only the top 15% in seniority in a division can be exempted from the bump rule. Probationary officers (P-1) do not count since the get rotated out of their watches every two to 3 months or training purposes. A brand new P-2 have just as much right to go to any watch he/she chooses as a 15 yr vet as long as they do the minimum time and someone is bumpable. If you think this is confusing try reading the manuel section about this, it's even more confusing lol.
                      Wow, that really sucks. Not much respect for seniority.
                      Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                      I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                      • #12
                        Being that the patrol force is usually pretty young, depending on the division 10-15 years can probably earn you a spot in that 15% unbumpable list. Well at least it's fair to everybody.

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