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  • #16
    Ok, I know I am not a 'regular' cop, but bear with me if you will, as I work a similar schedule. I work 2000-0800, five days on, four days off, one training day during which training is conducted on a day shift eight our schedule. I usually sleep for maybe an our or two after my last shift, get up for the rest of the day, sleep at night, and I am good for day shift for the next four days, which includes the training day. After the training day, well, that is what I am doing now. I stay up all night till around 0800, and sleep during the day, reporting to work in the evening. I do not have a s/o or anything like that, so I have no clue how much this would wreck your home life.
    RIP Brett Thompson, 17, 09/12/1989-09/14/2006

    Seatbelts save lives


    • #17
      I worked graveyard shifts for the last six years I was an active cop. At the time, that was the department record. I tried to get the department to give me a black hashmark at four years, but they declined.

      The work and the people were the best I ever experienced as a cop. Most of your calls are in-progress incidents where there's actually a shot at catching the bad guy. There's not nearly as much traffic, so it's easier to get from Point A to Point B. Assuming that there is a seniority system in place (not the case everywhere), the cops that work that shift tend to be relatively new and enthusiastic.

      On the downside, you'll probably never get used to the hours. Training, court, and personal business will constantly interrupt your sleep. When I got a stretch of time off, I'd usually spend the first day or two sleeping. I went on a cruise that went Sunday to Sunday, and didn't see anyone until Tuesday afternoon.

      One practice that worked well for me was to work out right after I got off shift. I got my exercise in, and by the time I got done, I was relaxed enough to go to sleep.
      Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.


      • #18
        Thanks again everyone. There was a lot of great advice. I especially liked Chief Wiggum's advice about not going to bed as soon as I get home, and Tim Dees advice about working out after your shift to help relax you.

        One thing I have taken from all of you guys is the fact that you don't get used to it and you have to develope your own system. Thanks again. I appreciate all of your input. I guess I will find out within the next few days what I am in for. (I start tomorrow)

        If you ever have sprained ankle, give me a call.


        • #19
          Midnights are okay while you're new and/or in your 20's. Once you get on the far side of 30, they're no longer so tolerable.

          I worked a midnight OT shift the other night, and it messed me up for 2 days afterwards.
          Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides


          • #20
            Originally posted by Darth Choke
            Well you definitely need an understanding wife.

            But I think your biggest problem is your wife going back to work with a 6 week old at home.

            ...but that opens up a whole other can of worms.
            Are you guys so financially tight that she has to go back? Unless you fully depend on her income, it really won't be worth the hassle. Especially if the baby is 6 weeks old!

            Few wives here at the department work when their children are under the school age. The shift work just doesn't like it. Unless of course, her job is so flexible that you can somehow adapt. I don't see it being worth it.


            • #21
              I have been working 2215-0645 (6 on and 3 off) for 3 years now...

              I am still not used to it and probably wont ever be... The thing that kills me is when I have court during my work week at 10 in the afternoon...

              Retired 02/01/13


              • #22
                Look I love midnights, I am screwed up if I work days. You either have it in your make-up or you do not, kind of like being a cop in the first place, some people can be, some can't.
                Plus Mids are the fun shift, if someone is out at 0230 and not working, getting medicine for a sick kid, they are probably screwing up somehow, you just have to figure out how.
                Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.


                • #23
                  One thing u might have to do if you are on your own or once on u own is around the time the reaper starts to call usually at 4-5 am and you just cant stay awake, park and get out {obviously} and walk around for a few minutes. Now I know its gonna be cold eventually but THAT 4am chill might wake you up for another hour or 2. Plus DONT eat a heavvy meal or anything like that. I do but its bad for the stomach and it can make u tired. DONT EAT a TURKEY sandwhich, or a bowl of pasta. I used to find myself falling asleep at a red light, yep foot on the brake. Plus it got real bad if I got a call in town and ahd to navigate through rush hour traffic, almsot hitting busses and stuff
                  P.S>- why is it called RUSH hour when NO ONE is rushing around???
                  I got nothing for now


                  • #24
                    Man, I've been working 0000-0830 since June. It sucks!... But most of the time, we go in at 2030-0830 or 0000-1230.. We're workin so much overtime lately, I work at least one of my days off as well.. On days off, I have a hard time staying up all night to stay on schedule because especially when I work to 1230, my kids get home at 1530 and 1630 from school.. not much sleep during the week for me.
                    As well as some of the part time security jobs I still have.

                    Good luck Dave.. Haven't talked to you in forever!
                    Who is this cowboy that's sleepin beside me.
                    He's awful cute but how'd I get his shirt on, I had too much TEQUILA last night!


                    • #25
                      This is the very reason I love the 12 hour, two week tour shift. 4 ten's sounds great to the guys that get the 0600-1600 or the 1600-0200 shift but the guys that get the "midnight" shift get shafted.
                      My current shift works like this: A 0600-1800 shift will start On Mon, Tues. Off Wed, Thurs. On Fri, Sat, Sun. Off Mon, Tues. On Wed, Thurs. Off Fri, Sat, Sun.
                      When you go back to work that next Monday, you'll go to 1800-0600 shift and follow the same rotation as above. This is noce because you get to work both nights and days and you get every other weekend off. When you finnish up Thursday at 1800 hrs, you don't have to be back until Monday at 1800 hrs. Sure is nice for vacations too because you can take your Wed-Thurs off and end up with a whole week off. Use two days to get 7 off.

                      "Anytime I see something screech across a room and latch onto someone's neck, and the guy screams and tries to get it off, I have to laugh, because what is that thing."
                      ~Jack Handy


                      • #26
                        I worked 5 years on the overnight shift and agree that getting only a few hours of sleep (no more than 5) on your first day off works best for most folks. Taking a short nap in the afternoon of the day you go back was helpful for me as well.

                        The work overall was good--fewer decent citizens are out and about it is easier to focus on the law breakers. Less traffic and flashing stoplights made it a lot easier to jump on hot calls, especially in urban areas.

                        When I built a little seniority and could pick an overnight shift, I worked an area with mostly veteran officers. These officers liked overnights because it was lucrative through the additional court time and extra jobs. The lost sleep time can catch-up with you in a hurry though.

                        Best wishes with the new shift and a new baby. I was a single guy working overnights, and I was not responsible for much more than wearing two socks that matched. --Scott
                        The Blog: Slam Dunks


                        • #27
                          I've been on Mids for about a year now. I hate it. I worked evenings for about 9 years and it was easily my favorite shift.

                          I finally think I have my days balanced. My wife finally understood I need to sleep during the week when she's up and about, so things have gotten better the last three or four months.

                          But, in order to keep the peace at home, I stay up on Friday when I end my week for as long as I can and spend the day with her. I stretch it to usually 10 to 12 PM (by then I've been awake about 24 hrs) and sleep according to her schedule. That way I can get up with her on Saturday and spend a "normal" day. Saturday night I go to sleep when she does, but I try to get up around 2 to 3 AM and stay up to about 2 PM Sunday afternoon. Then I get as much sleep as I can so I can start my workweek at 9:45 PM Sunday night. Of course, I spend most of that time tossing and turning, but...

                          It's not a perfect situation, but the fact I took the effort to rearrange my days to spend time with her has done good things for the relationship. And since it looks like I have to spend at least another year on Mids, I had to work something out because it was straining the marriage.

                          Like some of the other posters said, it's easier to do when you're younger. I'm way past the "downside of 30" and it is really aging me fast. The typical response I get from family and friends these days is: "You look tired". And my sister, who is blunt, said, "You look old".
                          "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author

                          "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson

                          “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams


                          • #28
                            Midnight shift sucks

                            Midnight shift sucks I work 12 hour shifts, working out afterwards just keeps me awake longer. I try to get about 3 hours sleep when I get home at 6am. I stay up all day and go to bed at about 9pm sleep all night and then I am on a regular schedule. To go back onto a midnight shift schedule, stay up late go to sleep and wake up 3 hours later and go to work. By the time you get off you will be tired and go to sleep. Try to avoid taking a nap during the days though that will totally screw you over. I hope your wife understands exactly what you are going through, and with a little one on the way it will only get worse for both of you. After a while you get used to it, then if you switch to another shift that just completely throws you off. Good luck.


                            • #29
                              When I first got into this job, I primarily worked mids. I was also young and single, with few other cares in the world, if any. About 10 years ago we went to a rotating schedule. It wasn't bad and allowed me to actually socialize with some real people for a change but the constant schedule changes were sometimes hard. About two years ago we went back to permanent shifts. I figured I did mids before, I could do it again, and planned out on paper my daily schedule cause I was now married, etc. Let me tell you!! The first month wasn't too bad, as I was able to stick to the schedule I had planned out. The second month started to get a little hectic, and I found myself straying from the schedule. The third month---FORGET IT!! My wife was ready to divorce me, I wasn't getting ANY sleep, and the slightest thing set me off. I begged and pleaded to get transferred to another shift, and eventually got lucky. I've been working steady 3-12 since and love it. I know of another guy that my agency hired. Because of his "low man" status, he got stuck on mids. He only lasted a year, and went back to his other job. Too bad for him, he was a really good guy.


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Darth Choke
                                Well you definitely need an understanding wife.

                                But I think your biggest problem is your wife going back to work with a 6 week old at home.

                                ...but that opens up a whole other can of worms.
                                I know, its too bad. So many of my friends have also had to do it.

                                And i read all these posts...so many of you seem to hardly have time to see your spouse. I would hate that.

                                When i was with my ex-husband, he rotated shifts every week. So we at least got one weekend a month together, and a week of evenings. (I worked day shift...no kids.)

                                I think it sucks that both people have to work!!


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