This report provides an overview of job sharing and part-time jobs for law enforcement, noting job sharing’s prevalence, people’s motivations for doing it, potential benefits and drawbacks, alternative options, potential agency units that are suitable for job sharing, and recommendations for implementation.
The author of this report notes that recruitment and retention are critical issues in law enforcement, and that in order to address those issues, many agencies consider implementing a type of flexible scheduling called job sharing, in which two people share the duties of a single position while dividing the benefits. The author suggests that law enforcement agencies that are unable to implement job sharing may be able to utilize other flexible scheduling arrangements such as part-time positions or extended leave for qualifying events. The author identifies potential benefits of job sharing, including the retention of two people on one salary, improves employee work-life balance, reduces stress and burnout, supports greater productivity, and more. Potential drawbacks discussed by the author include training and equipping two people for one position, more employees to supervise and evaluate, it may require benefit reduction for job sharers, and it may not be allowed by local union contracts or local laws. The author makes several recommendations for the implementation of job sharing programs, including to conduct a focus group or survey to gauge interest in such a program, to identify and evaluate state legislation and local ordinances that may affect the implementation of job sharing, evaluate which units may benefit from a job sharing program and develop specific policies for those units and the specific positions, train employees and supervisors on the topic, and once a program has been implemented, to conduct ongoing evaluations. Alternative options to job sharing may include other types of flexible scheduling, such as the expansion of part-tie officers and assignments, working from home, or extended leave policies. The author suggests that proper implementation can improve both recruitment and retention for police agencies as well as prolong officers’ careers and alleviate staffing shortages.