An Ohio resolution aims to give U.S. House representatives a unique window into the work of law enforcement by asking them to ride alongside police at least once per session.
The “Congress Observing Police Service (COPS)” resolution, introduced by Republican Representative Bill Johnson of Marietta, asks lawmakers to tag along with police on their patrols to gain a deeper perspective and appreciation for public safety work.
“Ride-alongs” are arrangements that allow civilians to sit in the passenger seat of a police cruiser on an officers’ patrol shift.
“Having the opportunity to witness firsthand the challenges that law enforcement encounters every day is a vital step towards bridging the divide between supporters of those in the blue uniform and the ‘defund the police’ movement,” Johnson said. “The COPS resolution will allow members of Congress to see firsthand the important work our men and women in uniform do to keep our communities and neighborhoods safe.”
Johnson said he hopes the resolution will change the perspective of progressive lawmakers who often disparage law enforcement officers.
Representative Williams Timmons said the resolution will “connect lawmakers with law enforcement on the ground.”
“Our law enforcement heroes put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe. COPS resolution requires members of Congress to spend a day in their shoes and see firsthand what our brave men and women in blue have to deal with. I am proud to support Representative Johnson’s effort to connect lawmakers with law enforcement on the ground,” he said.
Representative Dan Newhouse said that going on a ride-along was an experience that made him a better lawmaker.
“Witnessing the day-to-day demands our law enforcement officers face has given me a much clearer understanding of the public safety issues plaguing our communities, as well as the obstacles our officers face, making me a better lawmaker. Every member of Congress should have this same experience,” he said.
He went on to say that the resolution will “instill respect” in lawmakers for the law enforcement community.
Pennsylvania Representative Dan Meuser also supported the resolution.
“It’s easy to second-guess members of law enforcement until you ride a mile (or two) in a police vehicle. Getting in a cruiser will give our members of Congress the opportunity to discuss with law enforcement the split-second decisions they make each day when they are protecting and serving our citizens. The COPS resolution has my full support and should be favored by those who are open-minded and are willing to learn about what police offers face every day,” he said.