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Thread: Ride A Long

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    trekgirl's Avatar
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    Ride A Long

    Hey everybody!
    I got the number to call to do the paperwork for the ride a long, I'm going to call tomorrow to start the process. Do you have any suggestions for me? For instance things that irritated you about people who you did a ride a long with? Also what would be appropriate attire?
    Thanks in advance!

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    Don't ask whoever you are riding with if they have ever shot anyone. And if you are gonna ask a question just ask it, don't start the question off by sayin Hey can I ask you a question.
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    Dress comfortably, but proffesionally. Maybe slacks and a golf shirt.

    I agree with posted above. Also if you want to set a good example ask the officer at the start what his "rules" are for the ride along. There are already department rules, but he will have his own preferences on when or if you can get out of the car, etc.

    Also don't be overbearing and tell stories about friends who got tickets, other cops you know, etc. Feel free to ask questions, but make them pertinent to what's going on. And always, I stress ALWAYS offer to pay for lunch or a coffee or drink when you guys stop.
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    Talk but not too much. I agree with above, dont tell alot of stories about your or someone you knows run in with a cop. Keep the questions to real topics or laws that you wanted to know about. Depending on the town dont expect to do anything sept drive around and be bored, It isnt like TV. When your done say thank you or something.


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    Also remember your sitting in the seat next to us. We normally have our gear on that seat. So that means you need to offer to help hold some stuff that is normally in that seat that we need quick access to. Don't be shy about saying Hey I can hold that for you its not a big deal, more than happy to help out.

    Also remember your not the cop he/she is. So let them do the work unless they are getting into a actual physical fight just stay back for the most part.

    As the others have said ask what his/her rules are. Ask questions that are good not stupid.

    And last but not least enjoy the ride, your there to learn so keep your eyes and ears open.
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    Leave you dope at home! I had it happen several yaers ago, we were stopped and he pulled something out of his pocket, with small roach. Can you say dumbass!?! Of course he did not know how it got there!!!!

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    trekgirl's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the tips everybody. SO this is what I've got so far:
    1. Dress comfortably but professionally.
    2. Ask what the officers own rules and/or preferences are.
    3. Do not bore the officer to death with stories.
    4. Ask questions pertinent to the ride a long.
    5. Buy coffee or other drink on break for officer.
    Anything else?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wacopnewbie View Post
    Thanks for all the tips everybody. SO this is what I've got so far:
    1. Dress comfortably but professionally.
    2. Ask what the officers own rules and/or preferences are.
    3. Do not bore the officer to death with stories.
    4. Ask questions pertinent to the ride a long.
    5. Buy coffee or other drink on break for officer.
    Anything else?

    Yes...no stupid questions, even if you think they may be pertinent. Some examples would be, "are you going to do anything today/tonight," "are you going to write any tickets." No donut or pig jokes, no negative comments about law enforcement or law enforcement officers, and no "is it true that (insert stupid scenario, where Billy Bob can beat Bobby Joe on the Church door steps on Sunday morning and it's legal).

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    I think the bottom line is don't be annoying and distracting, like talking while a radio call is coming over the air, talking while they're driving 90 MPH, etc. - and before you get out of the car on a call, ASK!!!. Some cops will let you go side-by-side with them on all but the most dangerous calls (usually the older more experienced ones), whereas a lot of younger cops made me sit in the car the whole damn time.

    I started writing a letter to their supervisor saying that the ride along was very educational, etc - Which reminds me, I owe them 2 more letters

    I try to pay for their lunch, but don't force the issue -some of them can't accept gifts of any type due to policy, and others are just embarrassed so I just let 'em pay for it.

    And don't even ask about bringing pocket knives, guns, or pepper spray - Assume the answer is "no". I've a friend who'd let me carry anything except a gun, but he was the exception to the rule.

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    If you're talking and the radio starts talking, stop talking immediately. The officer needs to hear what's being said. You can finish your sentence later.
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    I agree with all of the above.

    One thing that I can't believe hasn't been mentioned, don't say "I learned your supposed to do it this way" or "so and so said you're not supposed to do it like that." Don't EVER question why the cop your with does something a specific way.

    I'm ok with people saying "Why did you do this instead of this?"

    Every rider who has ever told me how to do my job, has been immediately booted from my car. Without hesitation.
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  12. #12
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    Dumb Question Alert

    What's a ride-along?

    I realize from reading the posts that it means accompanying an officer as he does his or her job.

    But is that something the general public does? Or is it part of police academy training?

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    Can't beleive ya'll forgot the number one thing not to say! NEVER, NEVER say "sure is quite tonight" or anything to that effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wacopnewbie View Post
    Thanks for all the tips everybody. SO this is what I've got so far:
    1. Dress comfortably but professionally.
    2. Ask what the officers own rules and/or preferences are.
    3. Do not bore the officer to death with stories.
    4. Ask questions pertinent to the ride a long.
    5. Buy coffee or other drink on break for officer.
    Anything else?
    Apparently you skipped my post. Offer to hold things such as notebooks, citation books etc.. As I said your going to be sitting in the seat that normally has all of our gear in there.
    And as TX said do not say a thing about how slow or quite that shift is going. That statement is grounds for making you sit in the back seat and sending you home.

    =Pretty Boring Civi
    Dumb Question Alert
    What's a ride-along?

    I realize from reading the posts that it means accompanying an officer as he does his or her job.

    But is that something the general public does? Or is it part of police academy training?
    Yes basically your sitting in the passenger seat as we do our job. Sometimes depending on the call or situation you can even get out and learn whats going on. Although some departments do not allow for you to get out do to safety concerns. Check with your local department and see if they have a ride along program. Some departments do some don't.
    Being the best is not what always counts. What counts is always trying your best.

    Remember who you are, and where you came from. That way you never get a big head.


    May those that lost their lives in 9-11 RIP, for the things you did not many could do. You left so many behind so that you could save so few. For now we stand strong as one, and will not look back till the fight is done. (me)

    http://www.danasoft.com/sig/Nowwhat%...5Csuphomey.jpg

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS only.

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    In the event you are allowed out of the car on a scene, don't talk to the suspects, witnesses, victims or anybody unless the LEO directs you to. If they engage you in conversation refer them to the LEOs on scene. On the other hand keep a strong eye out, you are most helpful as an extra set of eyes.

    If you happen to see something that doesn't sit right in your stomach (say... something like someone pointing a gun at the LEO) let them know. Prioritize your interruptions. If someone tells you they need to speak with the LEO about a shoplifting case, that can probably wait until they are done talking to whoever they are talking to. On the flipside, if you see something that is emergent, (such as a person with a weapon, someone matching the subject's description, etc...) you may be a little more justified in interrupting.

    With that... listen to the radio, read the MDT if the officer lets you, if you're looking for a car or a subject, remember it and keep an eye peeled.

    Don't point out every single little traffic violation you see. If someone indicated a turn 75' instead of 100' before a turn, you can probably let that go.
    The comment above is my own opinion and does not represent the views or opinions of my employer or any law enforcement agency. It is however the correct opinion and the view of everyone residing in the United States, Canada, Europe, and parts of Australia.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six Robert Two Four View Post
    Don't point out every single little traffic violation you see. If someone indicated a turn 75' instead of 100' before a turn, you can probably let that go.
    That's a good one too. I hate it when riders tell "oh...he's got a headlight out!" "She didn't signal her turn" "That guy was going 40 mph in a 30 zone...aren't you gonna stop him?"

    It's my car. It's my job. I decide who I do and don't want to stop.
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    trekgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris2001 View Post
    Apparently you skipped my post. Offer to hold things such as notebooks, citation books etc.. As I said your going to be sitting in the seat that normally has all of our gear in there.
    And as TX said do not say a thing about how slow or quite that shift is going. That statement is grounds for making you sit in the back seat and sending you home.
    I didn't skip your post, I apologize. I'll add that to my list. Thanks!! (As an engineer I learned the "quiet night" comment already. Never a good thing!

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    I did an internship with a department and got to ride with many different officers. You learn how much each officer will want to interact with you. You might ride with one officer because he/she likes to have ride alongs, or you might be put in someone's car as punishment. Feel it out and see how much the officer you're with wants to interact.

    For the most part, if you appear truly interested in learning what takes place in the squad you will be treated well.

    And don't eat Mexican before the ride!
    I'm not ruining your life, you are, and I'm just going to write a short story about it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackalope View Post
    If you're talking and the radio starts talking, stop talking immediately. The officer needs to hear what's being said. You can finish your sentence later.

    Excellent! That should be the first thing you tell a ride-a-long! I never would have thought to tell them, I just assumed they would do it.

  20. #20
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    Our Sheriff's Department uses the James Bond 007/Secret Service type earphones, which kill the speaker when they plug them in so I can't hear the radio when I ride with them... I may have to start bringing my own scanner

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