How To Do A Police Ride Along All You Need To Know

Criminal Justice Journal

How To Do A Police Ride Along All You Need To Know

Police Ride Along is of much excitement for the people aspiring to join any law enforcement agency. The prime reason for this excitement is that the people get to know about the duties of a police officer. Hence they get to know about their duties. The law enfriorcement duties can be challenging, and people are curious about what the police officers do during their day. Ride along with a police officer is, therefore, an excellent opportunity for such people, and using this opportunity. They familiarize themselves with the duties of a police officer.

Most of the police departments in The United States offer rides along with a cop, this is usually for a whole day, and the applicant spends their entire day with a police officer. The candidates have to apply for the ride along wih the police, visit your nearest police department, and get familiarized with the application process. The good news is that most agencies allow you to apply online and get yourself registered.


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Steps for a Ride Along with a police officer


In this section of the article, you will be thoroughly guided through the steps involved in doing a Ride Along. Basically, there are four steps, and if you complete them all correctly, you will be called for a police Ride Along. so, without any further due, let’s jump to the four simple steps for a police Ride Along..

  • The first step is to apply for a Ride Along. in the nearest police department.
  • Once applied, your background check will be conducted, and if you have no criminal record, you will be called for a Ride Along. Before your selection has been finalized, you will get a notification confirming that you have been selected for a rRide Along..
  • Identity documents are verified before taking you to the Ride Along. So, once you are done with step 2, keep your identity documents with you and show them to the authorities whenever required.
  • The last step is to go on a ride. On this day, you should be dressed formally and have the identity documents on yourself so that you can show the authorities whenever you are asked to do so. An important thing to note is that you should submit your application 48 hours before the desired day ofRide Along.

Eligibility requirements for a Ride Along

Although there are no hard and fast rules for a ride along yet, there are certain things that you must keep in your mind if you are willing to do a Ride Along. The eligibility requirements for a ride along are:

  •  The candidate must be 21 years old
  •  The candidate must fulfill the application form
  •  The candidate must be dressed formally
  •  The candidate must not be addicted to illegal drugs, nor shall they use excessive alcohol
  •  The candidate must be willing to fulfill all the officers’ orders to take a Ride Along.
  •  A candidate can only participate in theRide Along once in thirty days.
  •  A candidate can ride with the same officer twice within six months.

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Age requirement for a Ride Along


The age requirement to be a part of a Cop Ride Along is 16 years which means that the candidate must be at least sixteen years old when applying. Some of the police departments within the United States are allowing 14 years old aspirants to become a part of police ride along. At times, questions have been raised on this practice, with people arguing that involving a kid with such low in police matters is not justified. Anyhow, for a Ride Along with police, the police department takes consent from parents for all the children whose age is less than 18 years.

Background check for a Ride Along with police officer

One might think that the process is simple, and individuals will be allowed to ride alongs with police officers as soon as they have completed their application form, but it isn’t likely. The police department goes through different steps to ensure that you are a good fit for a police Ride Along, and one of the essential steps is a background check.

During the police ride on cars, you will be spending your whole day with a police officer, and your involvement in any unlawful activity can cause damage to the life of a police officer. Therefore, to ensure the safety and security of the officer, the police department conducts a background check during which your history and other records will be checked. This is done through different mediums, and the most commonly relied on the medium is human intelligence. Secondly, the information you include in your application form is also used to verify your background.

If you are willing to go on a police Ride Along, advice from our side is that you must ensure that you do not have any criminal record, and secondly, you must put the correct information in the application form.

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Police Ride Along Tips

You might be wondering what to wear on a police Ride Along. It is often said that dressing is the first impression on people. The same goes for police Ride Along. The police department expects you to dress well during your ride along with a police officer. You should choose a formal dress while going for a Ride Along. Various departments in the United States have dressing requirements. Therefore, you are advised to consult your respective police department and ask if they have a dressing requirement or not, and if they do not have, you need to choose formal dressing over informal.


The police Ride Along experience will be great for you if you have the information that can help you stand out from others. During the Ride Along, you will become aware of what a day in a cop’s life looks like; you will also see what type of people they encounter and how they handle them. Besides, you will also get to know about the calls they receive during their day and how they respond to them. In short, the policeRide Along experience will teach you everything that you need to know about the day of a police officer.

A tip from our side is that you do not need to limit yourself for questions to ask during a Ride Along. Instead, ask everything that you should feel like asking the police officer. This will not only help you get complete information from the police officer, but it will also be beneficial in demonstrating that you are a confidant individual who has much interest in joining the police department. The police Ride Along questions are a great way of communicating that you are interested in joining the police department, which will help you get in the officer’s eyes.

  1. Dress professionally and comfortably: Wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather and comfortable for sitting in a patrol car for an extended period of time.
  2. Be on time: Arrive at the designated meeting place on time to avoid delaying the officer’s shift.
  3. Be prepared to listen and observe: Remember that the purpose of a ride-along is to observe and learn, so be prepared to listen and watch the officer’s actions.
  4. Keep an open mind: Remember that the police officers are human and may not always make the perfect decision, but they always make the best decision based on the information and circumstances available.
  5. Be respectful and courteous: Remember that you are a guest in the patrol car and should always be respectful and courteous to the officer and the people they interact with.
  6. Follow the officer’s instructions: The officer is responsible for your safety, so be sure to follow their instructions, and do not interfere with their duties.
  7. Do not expect to be a participant in any police action: You are there to observe only, so do not expect to be involved in any arrests or other police actions.
  8. Be prepared for the unexpected: Police work is unpredictable, so be prepared for the unexpected and understand that you may see things that are difficult or uncomfortable to watch.
  9. Ask questions: If you have any questions, ask the officer in a respectful manner. They will be happy to answer your questions and provide more information about their work.

What to expect on a police Ride Along

During a Ride Along, you will witness everything that a police officer does in a day. This includes raiding, responding to calls, handling different situations, and patrolling. On a Ride Along, you will have the opportunity to experience the traits that a police officer has. These traits help them handle different situations. Thoroughly focus on the attributes of a police officer and try to improvise them in your personality; this will help you during your interview and your professional life.

The patrolling cars are not ordinary cars; they are equipped with the equipment necessary to perform police duties. On a Ride Along police car, you will have the opportunity to examine the equipment and its functioning closely. This will help you understand how the police officers handle different equipment during their day. For example, the communication sets involved in a car might be something new for you. Through the Ride Along, you will understand their functioning and working mechanism.

Applying for a Ride Along

police-ride-along-questionsTo apply for a Ride Along, you need to visit your nearest police department or search online. If the department allows you to use it online, start filling the application form and wait until the department gives you a date on which you can do a Ride Along. Now your question of going on a Ride Along must have been answered. You can go on a Ride Along by simply applying for it in the nearest police department.

Before applying for a position in any law enforcement agency, it is advisable that you should go on a Ride Along. Some experienced individuals in the field are of the opinion that it is unwise to apply for any of the law enforcement positions without going on a Ride Along with a police officer. So, suppose you are an aspiring candidate for any of the positions within a law enforcement agency. In that case, you should seriously think of going on a Ride Along with a police officer. Your research for a police Ride Along near me should start as soon as today so that you can apply for a ride at the earliest possible. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a police ride-along?

A police ride-along is when a civilian accompanies a police officer in a patrol car during their shift.

Why do people participate in ride-alongs?

People participate in ride-alongs for a variety of reasons, including gaining a better understanding of policing, considering a career in law enforcement, or simply for the experience.

Are there any requirements for participating in a ride-along?

Requirements vary by department, but generally participants must be at least 18 years old, pass a background check, and sign a waiver of liability.

What should I expect during a ride-along?

During a ride-along, you will likely observe officers responding to calls, conducting traffic stops, and patrolling the community. Keep in mind that the nature of police work is unpredictable, so it is impossible to know exactly what you will see.

Are there any restrictions on what I can do or say during a ride-along?

You are expected to follow the officer's instructions and not interfere with their duties. You should also refrain from discussing confidential information or discussing ongoing investigations.


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