Shift Assignment

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This directive is for internal use only and does not enlarge an employee’s civil liability in any way. The directive should not be construed as creating a higher duty of care, in an evidentiary sense, with respect to third party civil claims against employees. Violations of this directive, if proven, can only form the basis of a complaint by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office for non-judicial administrative action in accordance with the rules and laws governing employee discipline.
DIRECTIVE TYPE: Policy SUBJECT: Shift Assignment NUMBER: ADMN-125.00
APPROVED BY: Sheriff Ken Christesen EFFECTIVE DATE: 5/7/2017
NMLEA STANDARDS: OPR.01.06 & OPR.01.07 LAST MODIFIED: 4/4/2017 LAST REVIEW: 4/4/2017


The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures governing shift coverage, shift assignments, frequency of shift rotation, and the assignment of deputies to districts.


It is the policy of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office to ensure the assignment of deputies to applicable areas of San Juan County in order to provide law enforcement services in a continuous and prompt manner.


The following definitions will apply for the purposes of this policy:

  • Bid Tracking Log – A log tracking the shift assignments of sergeants, corporals, and deputies assigned to patrol over the last three shift rotations.

  • District Assignment – The assignment to a specific area of the county designated as a “district.”

  • Shift – A 10 hour work period during a 24 hour day.

  • Shift Bid – The process that allows supervisors and deputies to select available shifts for the upcoming shift rotation according to seniority.

  • Shift Rotation – Rotation of shift assignments every 4 months.



Each 24 hour day is divided in three shifts. The shifts are day shift, swing shift, and graveyard shift. The shift hours are as follows:

Day Shift: 0600-1600 hours

Swing Shift: 1400-0000 hours

Graveyard Shift: 2100-0700 hours

To ensure proper district coverage and shift responsibility turn over, day shift will overlap graveyard shift 1 hour, swing shift will overlap day shift 2 hours, and graveyard shift will overlap swing shift 3 hours. The overlap will also allow for shift briefings and training. (OPR.01.06)


The unincorporated areas of San Juan County have been divided into 10 districts as follows:

  • District 5 (Waterflow)
  • District 6 (Kirtland)
  • District 7 (La Plata)
  • District 8 (Farmington)
  • District 9 (Bloomfield)
  • District 10 (Blanco)
  • District 11 (Flora Vista)
  • District 12 (Cedar Hill)
  • District 13 (US 550 South)
  • District 21 (Crouch Mesa)

The shift supervisor is responsible for assigning deputies to district assignments. Manpower may not allow for all districts to be manned. To ensure proper coverage, districts will be assigned in the following priority:

  • District 5
  • District 6
  • District 9
  • District 11
  • District 21
  • District 8
  • District 7
  • District 10
  • District 12
  • District 13

Graveyard supervisors may elect to assign district 21 over district 11 as the call load may dictate.

The shift sergeant has the discretion to assign individual deputies to districts as they see fit. Sergeants may consider personal preference of the deputies in making the assignments but seniority or where a deputy resides will not guarantee a shift assignment. Shift assignment to address performance improvement issues will be given priority as outlined in the Sheriff’s Office Performance Improvement Plan Policy. (OPER.01.07 (C))

Recommended shift minimums are as follows:

Day Shift: 5 Deputies

Swing Shift: 6 Deputies

Graveyard Shift: 4 deputies

Shift minimum requirements may be exceeded with the permission of the shift lieutenant.


Deputies assigned to patrol will rotate shift assignments every four months. Prior to shift rotation, deputies will participate in a shift bid to select shift and days off. Sergeants will bid first according to promotion seniority. Corporals will bid second according to promotion seniority. Deputies will have the final bid according to hire date seniority.

The patrol lieutenant will obtain the shift bid tracking log and available shift assignments which will be used to contact each sergeant, corporal, and deputy in order of seniority and advise them of their available options. The lieutenant will record the selections until all shift assignments are filled.

Deputies that have been assigned to the same shift for two shift rotations in a row will not be allowed to bid for the same shift and must rotate to another shift assignment.


  1. SJCSO Policy PERS-523 “Performance Improvement Plan”