How to Ride Along With a Police Officer. Any member of the community can ride along with a police officer and observe their work firsthand. Most police departments have a "Ride-Along" program that allows community members to see and hear just how officers handle everyday situations. These programs offer insight into the quality of your local police department and its personnel. Every police department has different regulations for their Ride-Along programs, so contact them for details; but before you do, there are a few things that you can expect.
Be aware that you may observe activities during your Ride-Along which may require that you to present a formal written statement of what you witnessed and/or testify in court.
Ask about the age minimum that is required to participate in your local Ride-Along program. Most police departments require that the participants are at least sixteen years of age.
Fill out an application, if it is required by your local police department. Once you have filled out and turned in your application an officer will call you to set up a date and time for your Ride-Along.
Sign an accident waiver. Remember that the job of a police officer can be dangerous and there is some degree of risk involved in participating in a Ride-Along program. You must assume any and all of the risks that you may be exposed to during the Ride-Along.
Dress for the occasion and behave properly. Most police departments have a dress code for their Ride-Along program. Participants must dress conservatively and be well-groomed. If you are not properly dressed or if you have been drinking, your approval to participate will probably be denied.
Know the rules for the Ride-Along program. Participants are required to remain in the vicinity of the patrol car at all times and may not accompany a police officer outside of the designated area unless they are directed by the officer. You cannot touch or try to operate any of the equipment without explicit authorization.