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6/2/2020 2:34:59 PM
Posted: 12/26/2002 10:56:53 AM EDT
some people I know have done this and say it's a great way to spend an evening.  others say it's very boring (I guess nothing happened on their ride).  any advice on what I should take or how to act.  I know not to be rude or ask any in inappropriate questions like how many people have you shot.  I would like to know how to make the situation more comfortable for the officer and myself and try to be an asset to him.   I don't want to look over his shoulder or give him the impression I am part of the new Houston "Cop Watch" program.  

I guess I want to see what being a police officer is all about.
Link Posted: 12/26/2002 11:34:12 AM EDT
Tell the officer you are ridding with exactly what you said here. Don't try to be an asset to him. He dose not know you and offering him this will make him a little concerned that you will get over involved in a situation. Just be a good observer and ask questions when appropriate (like, when you are driving away from the call not in the middle of it). When I was on patrol I did not mind most riders and my Sgt. liked putting them with me. I had several show up with body armor on. As long as it was under their clothing I had no problem with it. I had several with CCW's and ask if it was okay for them to carry their handgun. I, and my department, had no problem with that as long as it was concealed.

Dress appropriately. Business/casual. Jeans and a polo or a tucked in button up shirt. No BDU's or "Kill them all let god sort them out" T-shirts. Dress for the climate. If it is cold out at night bring a jacket and some gloves. Think about bringing something to drink, like bottled water. Most officers carry water in the car with them and sip on it all shift.

Understand that you are going to be the outsider. Acting professional and being understanding and courteous to the officer that you are riding with will get you respect. If the officer tells you to stay in the car, then stay in the car. He is not trying to keep you from seeing the cool stuff he just does not want you getting hurt or having to worry about you until things calm down. Following orders will get you respect and an invite to come back.

Ride on the weekend at night if you want to see some cool stuff and if you can ask the Sgt. to put you with someone who is very active. Like everything else some people have more energy than others. People also have bad days. If you have a bad ride come back and ride with someone else.

Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 12/26/2002 11:50:43 AM EDT
thanks for the advice.

i am trying to find out what i can do and what to do.  i guess by asset i was trying to say i wanted to help if i am able and where he wants me.

so it's be cool [well, as a civilian can be], hang loose  and don't get in the way.  


Link Posted: 12/26/2002 12:38:28 PM EDT
If you want to do one and have the chance then do one.  

I had a buddy of mine do a ride along with him and we had a disturbance call and there were 3 girls at the house when we got there and they were drunk and coming on to him and were talking dirty to him.  There's a chance you could have fun.  
Link Posted: 12/26/2002 12:53:15 PM EDT
You got it. If you catch the bug check into local agencies that have Reserve programs. I loved my time as a reserve. All the fun with little to no paper. Lots of fun and a great way to give something back to your community. You can also write off most all of your guns, ammo, gear ect. as business expenses. I do.
Link Posted: 12/27/2002 7:08:02 AM EDT
I went on a few before I joined up.  The times I went it was with someone I knew.  Some nights were real busy, others rather boring.  Just do what the officer asks and you'll have a good time.  When I was in patrol, I had 3 or 4 ride alongs.  They all went well and I think these people gained a new outlook on the everyday life of an officer.  Ditto on carrying a bottle of water or maybe even a candy bar.  Sometimes you can't dictate when you'll be able to grab a drink or your dinner break.  Let us know how it goes.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 10:00:01 PM EDT

 I'm planning on going with AZTrooper for a ride along. And I'm looking forward to seeing what he has to go through.
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 2:01:24 PM EDT
I have to strongly agree with the point of listening to the host officer. Whether he/she has been an officer for 1 month or 15 years, they are professional officers with the appropriate training to stay as safe as possible.

I once had to take a rider back due to the fact that he wanted to get out on an armed robbery after I specifically told him to stay in the car. He has never, and will never ride with our agency again.

Other than that, ask questions, lots of questions. You can never as a cop too many questions about his job when he is doing his job. Just little things, like "Why did you do that in that way?" Stuff like that...
Link Posted: 1/3/2003 1:23:14 PM EDT
I'm a police explorer in my city, and though I have not rode along yet, other friends of mine who are also Explorers have. It sounds like a lot of fun. And the plus is, since we are explorers, we go in uniform. I would wear nice clothes. And knowing most of the cops in my city, don't ask them stuff like, "Aren't you driving a bit fast?" or "Do you really think that is necessary?" Just FYI. And if you really want to have fun, try and understand what they are talking about in their ten codes. We all do, so it's no prob., but a non-leo might have some trouble understanding what a 10-96 being 10-32 and also being 10-99. NOT GOOD - (to have a mental subject packing, and also be wanted)....
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