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  • No Ride a longs?

    I haven't seen a thread posted on a topic like this, but would you consider joining a department that does not allow ride-a-longs as a matter of policy? I spoke to a department and asked them about the process for doing that. They said they don't allow ride-a-longs. I mentioned that I was a potential applicant but it made no difference. I found that to be odd. Most departments I've seen allow it, encourage it, and in some cases even require it. Has anybody ever heard of this before?

  • #2
    San Francisco is like this, which is frustrating to say the least, but does not necessarily reflect badly on the department. Its just one policy that I disagree with. Now if it was like, they dont give ride-along to Jews, then yeah I wouldnt join them

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    • #3
      I just don't get that policy. Makes no sense. It would seem to me like you'd want at least applicants to see policing first hand before they could continue in the process. But whatever, I'll just consider applying elsewhere.

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      • #4
        Tons of departments in the Chicago area that don't do ride alongs. I don't even ask anymore.
        Gov Blagojevich - "I'am the American dream...."

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        • #5
          I have to assume its because they have had bad experiences in the past. I was told CHP doesn't do Ride-Alongs for just anyone who walks in anymore, due to one of their cruisers ending up on youtube

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          • #6
            Wyoming is selective on who can ride and how much, however I feel it is our best recruitment tool ever! Anyone who has submitted an application and plans to test can sign the waiver and ride here. Once accepted, a new recruit can do unlimited ride-alongs until they graduate the academy. At that point, it is a training tool and orientation.

            I have had a best friend from Texas come up and ride (OK, so that was recruitment too - he just didn't know it)
            Taking a year off to travel the USA with my family. You can follow our adventures on our website: www.TheGreatAdventureTour.com
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            • #7
              Originally posted by TGM View Post
              Once accepted, a new recruit can do unlimited ride-alongs until they graduate the academy.
              Maybe I am not reading this correct- and I am getting off thread (though I will return...)

              You allow your recruits who are in the academy to do unlimited ride-alongs? Our agency not only discourages this- but flatly prohibits our recruits from having contact with our officers while they are in the academy. The issue is this- the academy teaches in a certain way and we do not want our recruits confused by what they may see on ride-alongs (e.g. develop bad habits). Our academy is a residential, paramilitary, high stress environment- the last thing I would want any of these recruits to do in their off time (weekends) is spend time in a squad car! They need to release some of the pressure and spend times with their families- learn not to live the job.

              I like the policy mentioned above of allowing ride-alongs for those who file applications- but wish my agency would shut down the guy who just walks in and wants to ride for the rush of it. I have had many ride-alongs during my career - I used to enjoy them- until I realized that they are an officer safety issue for me. When my attention should be on a violator- I am usually answering questions from my rider. I find that I am not as sharp and proficient as I should be when I am "entertaining" a ride-along.

              That said- I do believe that ride-alongs are a useful part of the recruitment process, but they should be severely limited.
              Last edited by KAA951; 08-13-2008, 08:26 PM.
              ---Cut the red wire---

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              • #8
                We allow it, but you have a 10 page release that has to be filled out, notarized, all of that j***. I would assume most agencies just don't want to take on the liability.
                sigpic
                Let your watchword be duty, and know no other talisman of success than labor. Let honor be your guiding star in your dealing with your superiors, with your fellows, with all. Be as true to a trust reposed as the needle to the pole. Stand by the right even to the sacrifice of life itself, and learn that death is preferable to dishonor. ~ Gov. Richard Coke, October 4, 1876

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                • #9
                  The unlimited thing is a surprise. My own personal thought is that there should be a balanced approach to it. It seems to me like it should be a good recruiting tool. Or, perhaps if they don't want to do that, then maybe film a shift, like on Cops on Fox, and make that required viewing for people at some stage in the application process. I don't know. I've done them before and I enjoy getting to hear an officer's perspective on the city and the work.

                  As for the Youtube thing, that is unfortunate. Should have been something in the waiver about culpability for videotaping or recording any portion of the ride.

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                  • #10
                    *NOT ATTEMPTING TO JACK THREAD*

                    I recently rode along with an agency that I am in the final stages of the hiring process with. I truly had a great time and would love to do it again as long as I am still in the process. Had I not done a ride-along, I would have NEVER imagined that this particular agency was as busy as they are. My question is would it be appropriate for me to send a thank you letter to the SGT who set up the ride for me? If so, would it be appropriate for me to ask in the thank you letter if I may be allowed to do another ride?

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                    • #11
                      I wish I would have been able to do a ride-along at the dept. I used to work for. I prob. would have not taken the job...

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                      • #12
                        Wow, kind of glad I don't live in or near "Patrolling the Yellow Brick Road" and ask for a ride along.....

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by OTVFD18 View Post
                          *NOT ATTEMPTING TO JACK THREAD*

                          I recently rode along with an agency that I am in the final stages of the hiring process with. I truly had a great time and would love to do it again as long as I am still in the process. Had I not done a ride-along, I would have NEVER imagined that this particular agency was as busy as they are. My question is would it be appropriate for me to send a thank you letter to the SGT who set up the ride for me? If so, would it be appropriate for me to ask in the thank you letter if I may be allowed to do another ride?
                          This is a tough one IMO. I did this at an agency that ultimately offered me a position and I don't think it hurt. But, the sgt had given me his business card that had his city email on it so that's how I knew to reach him. It probably wouldn't hurt but I wouldn't go too over the top with it, you know?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 422JDB View Post
                            This is a tough one IMO. I did this at an agency that ultimately offered me a position and I don't think it hurt. But, the sgt had given me his business card that had his city email on it so that's how I knew to reach him. It probably wouldn't hurt but I wouldn't go too over the top with it, you know?
                            Yea, that's my worry. I don't want to come off as a brown noser as I am actually truly thankful for having the opportunity to ride.

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                            • #15
                              Some agencies here won't allow ride-alongs.

                              Some only let applicants, recruits, and candidates do them.

                              MSP sometimes only lets applicants do them. When I first applied to my agency, the Chief told me that they didn't have a program for civilians to ride with officers. Now it seems we do, but only for those who applied, are cops, are candidates, are in the academy, or a close tie to something law-related.
                              The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

                              I Am the Sheepdog.


                              "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
                              that we are all that stands between
                              the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


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