Ride-Along with local PD

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Thread: Ride-Along with local PD

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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    Ride-Along with local PD

    Well, I graduate in dec (FINALLY!!!), and have decided that I want to pursue a career in law enforcement. I went on a ride-along last night with the local pd. I had a blast to say the least. I got invited back, but I was just wondering how police officers in general feel about having ride-alongs. Is it a good way to get your face known in the department, or is it just a nuisance to the officers? I really enjoyed riding with this particular officer, but I would like to meet as many as possible.

    Also, I'm doing the citizens academy once a week, but if there is anything else you can think of that will help me get a foot in the door, it'd be appreciated.

    Sincerely Appreciate it,

    SDG
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    The questions you ask depend on a number of things, including department size and policies. A ride along is an additional responsibility for the officer because he must try to provide for the safety of the ride along. Some officers do not mind, others are less receptive. Unless it is a small department, the amount that you will get known by a few ride alongs is insignificant. Is your schooling in CJ?

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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    It's a relatively small department, town i live in has about 70,000 people. My educational background is Communication.
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    In a smaller dapartment, the famailarity created in a number of ride alongs the the citizen's academy could be beneficial.

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    To "get your foot in the door," consider volunteering as an auxiliary officer - if your PD has an auxiliary.

    I joined my local auxiliary this year. I'm not looking to get into LE, but rather wanted to serve my community. It's been fun, and a good learning experience. Also helped my wife get out of a ticket!

    And besides - if the worse happens and you ever needed to defend yourself, it never hurts to have an official "good guy" ID in your wallet...
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Ex Member Array Kieth's Avatar
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    I think the ride a long is a good idea. Do as many as you can. Since your town is so small, it won't take long before you get a name for yourself.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Something else to consider is doing a sit along at the local communications center.
    One night a friend of mine stopped by on his way home. I got him a head set so he could plug in and listen. First call we got was a very nice lady confessing to a double homicide.
    You never know what you are going to get!
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    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    Appreciate the advice. One thing that I'm also sort of curious about is being a CO as a step toward police officer. It seems agencies are just not "thawing" from their hiring freezes, and that they are giving preference to officers that were laid off or to prior military. Since I am neither, does it make sense to pursue work as CO while waiting to become an officer?? Thanks!
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilenceDoGood View Post
    Appreciate the advice. One thing that I'm also sort of curious about is being a CO as a step toward police officer. It seems agencies are just not "thawing" from their hiring freezes, and that they are giving preference to officers that were laid off or to prior military. Since I am neither, does it make sense to pursue work as CO while waiting to become an officer?? Thanks!
    We have a saying, Police Officers talk at people. CO's talk to people.

    I've never heard of a CO not being able to be a Police Officer, but I've met quite a few Police Officers that can't hack it as a CO. There are significant similarities between the two jobs, but some differences too. In some states their CO's are considered LEO's, and in the federal system too. In others you are nothing more than a red headed step-child.

    Personally I'm of the opinion that one should work inside the wire before venturing out to the street. You will learn, and quickly I might add, how to read people, talk to people, and really search stuff. You will also learn more gang information inside than you will on the outside, in a shorter amount of time.

    ETA: Inside the wire you will learn more about tactics, IMO, than outside. I could be wrong, but probably not. While you will not learn how to do a felony car stop, you will learn what it is to watch the hands, inmate groupings, and learn to pay attention to your surroundings. You have to, as you are outnumbered, badly. It's not about fighting, it's about control. That transfers easily to the outside, and establishing control, as well as maintaining control, of various scenes.

    That's my $0.02, take it for what it's worth.

    Biker
    Last edited by BikerRN; September 27th, 2010 at 02:39 AM. Reason: added comment about tactics

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    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    Ride along is how I got started. Some cops like the company - some don't. I joined local police reserves unit way back too & found most of the guy's liked a reserve officer with them but some just wanted to be alone. I liked riding with all the guy's - a couple of them would have "Church" with me. Informal discussions on Christian topic's - life - kids etc....

    Good luck and God Bless...
    For God, Family and Country!

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    ride-alongs are a good way to see what goes on and what is done by the officers each day, good for you to jump in

    some officers hate a ride-along because it disrupts their system, meaning they now have someone in the car when they usually don't, their gear isn't in the same place like it usually is, etc
    most of the ones here don't mind but we have a few that hate it, as for me I don't mind, I like the opportunity to show the people that are riding just to see what goes on.... what really goes on, they get an understanding of how short-handed we are, why it takes so long to respond to non-priority calls, etc; for the ones that are looking at getting into LE I make sure I gear my demonstrations/discussions to what they are wanting to see/hear

    as far as your situation....is your city's dept doing layoffs/furloughs ? are they in a hiring freeze? are they short-handed? these will all be factors in whether you're gonna have a chance getting on there, you may have to seek out some other place; what about the Sheriff's dept?
    I say do as many ride-alongs as you can handle and they will allow, if your degree is in communications...inquire into the dispatch center, etc, ask to sit in/observe, maybe work there until a spot opens up and you'll be gaining experience on that end of it in the process
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