216 – Work Hours

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I. Purpose

This policy defines an employee’s work day, commonly referred to as “on-duty” or “off-duty” status.

II. Policy

A. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) employees will have regular hours assigned to them for active duty each day, and when not so engaged, they will be considered “off-duty.” Employees will, however, be considered subject to duty as needed. The fact that an employee is technically “off-duty” will not relieve the employee from the responsibility of taking appropriate law enforcement action regarding any matter coming to his or her attention at any time.

B. The number of hours constituting a standard workweek for a Harris County employee will be forty (40) hours. The workweek will begin at 12:01 A.M. Saturday and end at 12:00 midnight Friday.

III. Procedure

When an Employee is Considered “On-Duty” and “Off-Duty”:

Note: The below reference to leaving Harris County refers to those employees leaving Harris County at the end of their assigned duty hours or shift. You remain on-duty if you leave Harris County as a direct result of your official duties as authorized by HCSO policy or procedures.

A. County-wide Assignment (e.g., Vehicular Crimes Division, Crime Scene Unit, Canine, etc.):

You are considered on-duty when you sign-on (SO) and are in Harris County. You are considered off-duty when you go off-duty (OD) or leave Harris County.

B. Assignment to a District:

You are considered on-duty when you SO and are in the district of assignment. You are off-duty when you OD and leave the district. If you live in the district, you are off-duty when you OD.

C. Assignment to a Specific Location:

When you arrive at the location, you are considered on-duty. When you leave “for the day,” you are considered off-duty.

D. When you are either off-duty or on call and receive an assignment to go to a specific scene or place for some event (e.g., a shooting scene, surveillance, etc.):

You are considered on-duty when you SO and are enroute to that location. You are considered off-duty when you OD from the assignment.

E. When you are off-duty and come across an emergency that requires you to respond as a police officer:

You are considered on-duty during your response. You are considered off-duty when you cease to respond.


This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:

April 21, 2009

May 21, 2014

June 9, 2021

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