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Police Ride Along

Do you dream of becoming a police officer or working in law enforcement but aren’t sure exactly what it’s like?  If so, then you may want to go on a ride along with a police officer.  A ride along is when the police department allows you to join a police officer during their daily duties and go in the police car with them for an entire shift. 

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This can be a wonderful opportunity for people interested in this field of work but aren’t entirely sure what to expect and would like to learn more about it and experience what it is really like.

Many police departments around the United States have a Police Ride Along Program that allows people to ride along in police cars during a shift of the police officer to observe and see what it is like to be a police officer.  To be allowed to go on a ride along, you must apply at the police department where you wish to go on your ride along.

Most police departments require the applicant to be at least sixteen years of age but for some departments it is permissible is you are fourteen years old with parent consent.  For those under the age of eighteen, a parent must give permission for the child to be allowed to go on the ride along since there is a potential danger if something was to happen with one of the people who the police officer dealt with.

A criminal background check will be issued on each applicant to ensure the safety of the police officer and the people the police officer will work with that specific day.  To apply, head over to the police department or go online to their official website and fill out the application.  Some will also accept it in the mail if you print it off and send it in that way.

The police department will then contact you to notify you if your application has been approved or if you have been denied for a police ride along.  The applications are short and easy to comprehend.  You may also have to sign an accident waiver in the chance that something happens which is very unlikely.  Once you have been approved, then you can set up a date and time for your police ride along.  If you know someone in the police department, you can request a ride along with them so it will be more comfortable for you.

During the ride along, you should dress appropriately and professionally and follow the dress code of that specific police department.  There are certain rules of the police department that will need to be followed accordingly so make sure to inquire of the department or police officer what those rules are so that you can make sure to follow them.

Police ride alongs are a great way to get a grasp on what police officers have to deal with on an everyday basis.  You will get to see what people they typically encounter and what kind of calls they get to respond to.  You can ask the police officer any questions that you may have and learn new information by utilizing the opportunity you have to hear the information first-hand from someone who is an expert in that area.

You will have the privilege of seeing what the environment is like and what the people are like to work alongside of.  Another opportunity you will have is to see and learn about all of the technology in the police car.  This is a great time to have the police officer describe each piece to you and how it works and what exactly it is used for.  This will give you a better understanding of what all goes into a day as a police officer.

If you want to do a ride along with a specific police officer who you may know or are inspired by, then you can request to do that in your application.  Meeting a police officer on a ride along will help you to see what kind of people police officers are and what kind of characteristics and traits are important to have in that specific field of work.  It will also give you a rapport with the police department because they will get to know you and that specific police officer can vouch as to what kind of person you are and all the benefits and qualities that you possess.

It is unwise to apply for a job in law enforcement without going on a ride along at least one times in your life.  It is crucial that you know exactly what police officers do on a regular basis and not just rely on what you hear on TV or learned from other sources to make your decision about working in the law enforcement field.  Police officers do a whole variety of things in their job and it is different every single day.  This is a benefit because you can go on ride alongs multiple times and each time will be completely different.

A ride along will show you some of the things that they regularly do on the job and what kind of calls they receive from different kinds of people for a variety of reasons.  Police departments are also more inclined to hire you based on if you have had the experience of going on a ride along and if any police officers can say that you are qualified for the job.  If you have done that, then you have had a real life experience that other applicants may not have had the opportunity to do.

If you have never been on a police ride along, you should be encouraged to do so.  It will help you to become familiar with the police officers, police squad car, and the police department.  It will give you the opportunity to learn new things about what it is like to be a police officer and everything that goes into working in the law enforcement field.


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