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  • Ride along possible?

    Dear Officers,

    As I got back from my great trip to the Eastern Shore (huh), I'm planning a visit to the Western part, namely Nevada (Vegas) and Cali (LA and San Fran area). It got me thinking of having a more planned contact with LE this time (yep..) and I remembered that some US agencies offer ride-alongs. Getting a glimpse at the everyday work of an American LEO is a great opportunity and a huge perspective change, I imagine.

    So, my queston is:

    a) in your opinion, how likely an agency would allow a ride-along for a foreigner? (My ID is in English and I can provide a certified translation of a criminal history certificate issued by a home agency, and other docs the agency might request).
    b) could you recommend any depts. around Vegas or LA/SF to contact, that might be likely to grant my request?

    I'm equally interested in large agencies and small rural departments. I don't seek any "action", I'd rather see what day-to-day routine looks like (yep, report writing included) and appreciate a chance to try and speak to an officer. Also, larger metro agencies could have so much stuff on their hands they won't bother with my request, I think.

    I already contacted some and awaiting replies but I'd really appreciate your feedback. As always, thank you for your time and replies.

  • #2
    Rumor has it that my agency has stopped ride a longs due to the liability. As for being a 'foreigner.' I believe it would depend on what country you are from. But that is just a guess.

    Go to the specific agency's website and look under 'community relations, public relations.' Send an email and ask. Some agencies don't have a problem with it, others do.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Zeitgeist1 View Post
      Rumor has it that my agency has stopped ride a longs due to the liability. As for being a 'foreigner.' I believe it would depend on what country you are from. But that is just a guess.

      Go to the specific agency's website and look under 'community relations, public relations.' Send an email and ask. Some agencies don't have a problem with it, others do.
      Thanks Zeitgeist! That's what I'm doing now. The problem is, your country has A LOT of different agencies and I know only major ones (like LVMPD, state police). So I was hoping someone could point me to some smaller, quieter agency (county PD? town PD?).

      As for the liability, I thought riders sign liability waiver before getting in the car? Is this not enough?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hagen View Post

        Thanks Zeitgeist! That's what I'm doing now. The problem is, your country has A LOT of different agencies and I know only major ones (like LVMPD, state police). So I was hoping someone could point me to some smaller, quieter agency (county PD? town PD?).

        As for the liability, I thought riders sign liability waiver before getting in the car? Is this not enough?
        Riders do sign waivers, but if something goes bad, family may challenge it in court.

        If you can find the name of the nearest city, look that up and either add 'PD' behind that, or look up 'what county is insert name of city'
        in? Then look up whatever county Sheriff's Dept. or PD.

        Comment


        • #5
          I once had a ridealong who was a British constable (Nottinghamshire), and one of our sergeants had a police chief from somewhere in Africa. Both had met people from our department via the International Police Association.

          A PD in our area hosted a couple British constables who partnered up with local officers on the foot beat downtown for a couple weeks. The Brits wore their regular uniforms.
          Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

          I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hagen View Post
            (My ID is in English...
            OK, let's try this again - your Soviet agency has given you official credentials in English? None of our police credentials are issued in foreign languages. I don't think anyone here is going to by them as being genuine.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

            Comment


            • Hagen
              Hagen commented
              Editing a comment
              In the previous post I said I'm a lawyer, not a prosecutor I was an assistant investigator for two years in the past, but this is long gone. Oh and BTW - I'm not a defense attorney haha

              not.in.MY.town is spot on.

          • #7
            If I remember correctly, the OP is not a LEO in Russia. By "ID" he might be referring to a passport or government-issued ID card. Foreign passports and government IDs are often issued in multiple languages (words like "date of birth", "place of residence" etc.).

            As far as the OP's question, I can't be of any help. I'm not on the West Coast. My department does no longer offer ride alongs due to liability concerns. A waiver merely discourages law suits. It doesn't prevent them...nor does it release the agency from liability in cases of (gross) negligence.

            Comment


            • L-1
              L-1 commented
              Editing a comment
              I believe the OP said he was a prosecutor in a prior post. Same thing as far as creds are concerned.

            • not.in.MY.town
              not.in.MY.town commented
              Editing a comment
              I assumed he was going to request a ride along as a private citizen, not in an official capacity.

            • L-1
              L-1 commented
              Editing a comment
              Ha! I thought just the opposite. Perhaps the OP will respond and clarify.

            • Hagen
              Hagen commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks, not.in.MY.town, I meant my foreign passport, precisely. That and DL are the only pieces of ID that our state issues in foreign languages.

          • #8
            Originally posted by L-1 View Post

            OK, let's try this again - your Soviet agency has given you official credentials in English? None of our police credentials are issued in foreign languages. I don't think anyone here is going to by them as being genuine.
            There are no Soviet agencies.
            Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

            I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by Hagen View Post

              Thanks Zeitgeist! That's what I'm doing now. The problem is, your country has A LOT of different agencies and I know only major ones (like LVMPD, state police). So I was hoping someone could point me to some smaller, quieter agency (county PD? town PD?).

              As for the liability, I thought riders sign liability waiver before getting in the car? Is this not enough?
              Liability waivers are a standard procedure for ride-alongs. Unfortunately, in the event of an unfortunate incident, many of our courts have ruled that waivers executed prior to the injury are not binding (person had no reasonable expectation or foreknowledge of any potential dangers, etc). Thus quite a few agencies have simply stopped ride-along programs.

              It is a shame, really. For years as a small town chief I had local Boy Scouts, high school students, even a couple of judges and lawyers come for ride-alongs in order to gain better perspective about what cops encounter every day.

              Way back in the early 1970's the department I worked for was engaged in exchange programs with departments in England, Germany, France, and Italy. Officers would spend several weeks partnered with patrol officers, detectives, evidence techs, crime lab, etc. Some of those experiences resulted in life-long friendships, in addition to sharing of knowledge and experience.

              Comment


              • #10
                We certainly wouldn't allow a ride along for a foreign national that just showed up at our door.

                Comment


                • #11
                  My last agency hosted a Romanian civilian. Some department in Texas hosted Chinese Public Security officers (cops). Conversely I have been offered a work-along with rural Public Security (my father in law was a mainland Chinese cop for 30+ years).

                  Consider where you are planning to go, and just look up the police department in each nearby town. Even very small towns might have a police department but they can go an entire shift without a call. Pretty much every county has a sheriff's office, some have county police also. A lot of colleges also have police departments, some rivaling municipal agencies and may even have SWAT, motor unit, etc. Just call them up and ask. Larger agencies are more likely to do ride alongs in my experience.

                  Comment

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