How Two Campus Safety Departments Improved Efficiency with Officer Scheduling Software
ScheduleAnywhere streamlined scheduling and improved communication
Directors of public safety and campus administrators understand that managing the complex schedules for safety department personnel can be a demanding task. Like other police agencies, most campus security departments operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and officers work in shifts to maintain a safe environment and answer calls for service. Developing the initial schedule to ensure all shifts are properly covered is a challenge in itself; add in shift changes, unexpected absences, and time-off requests, and scheduling can become a full-time job.
That’s what Kenneth Donato, security supervisor at the Vassar Brothers Medical Center Security Department, discovered after struggling with frequent schedule changes.
“For years we used spreadsheets for scheduling, and it was labor intensive trying to keep up with the frequent time-off requests and schedule changes,” said Donato. “Having one copy posted in a central location required staff to physically be on site to see the current schedule.”
Donato was not alone in his scheduling frustrations. Halfway across the country, the Truman State University Campus Safety Department in Kirksville, Missouri was also using spreadsheets for scheduling, and experiencing similar challenges.
“There were so many copies of the schedule, it was difficult to know which was the most current,” said 20-year law enforcement veteran Sergeant Jeremy Cordray. “The schedule was constantly being updated, but it was difficult to notify officers of changes or to know whether they received the notification.”
Donato and Cordray knew there had to be a better solution, and each set out in search of an alternative scheduling system. Both knew they wanted an online, cost-effective program that would work for safety departments’ unique scheduling demands. After researching several options, each decided to try ScheduleAnywhere online employee scheduling software for their respective departments. Both men, as well as their officers, were extremely impressed with the system.
“Our staff embraced ScheduleAnywhere immediately,” said Donato. “Even the most computer challenged staff members easily negotiated through the user process.” He added that employees appreciate the ability to see their schedule online as well as submit requests online and via the mobile app.
In addition to increased schedule visibility, ScheduleAnywhere has improved communication for the departments. Managers can email or text individuals, all employees, or a select group of qualified, available officers to fill open shifts, eliminating time-consuming phone calls. And when changes are made, the schedule is automatically updated, and any employee whose schedule is affected receives a notification. The software also tracks certifications and training, manages shift rotations and staff availability, and cuts time spent on scheduling by up to 75 percent.
“We used to spend nearly six hours developing a schedule for each month,” said Cordray. “With ScheduleAnywhere, schedules can be copied and are created ahead of time, so all we need to do is post it online when we’re ready. This system has saved us a tremendous amount of time.”
“I’ve held many positions in my career, including chief of police, and various director and executive director positions,” added Donato. “I have found that ScheduleAnywhere is the best tool for managing, planning, and organizing personnel scheduling in a 24/7 environment.”
Hospital, school and university safety departments have a lot of responsibilities, and each has its own unique system to ensure a safe, secure campus environment. As Truman State University and Vassar Brothers Medical Center discovered, finding the scheduling software that works for a department’s specific requirements can be the driving force behind a highly-functional, efficient campus safety facility.
Click here to learn how ScheduleAnywhere works for campus safety departments’ unique scheduling requirements.
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