To further promote positive citizen contacts, the Sheriff’s Office provides a ride-along program. The Sheriff’s Office reserves the right to coordinate and schedule ride-alongs as conditions allow.
There are inherent risks involved with participation in the ride-along program. The applicants must be mentally and physically able to respond to immediate dangers and critical situations. In addition, the mission and safety of the deputy shall not be compromised during this activity.
- Riders must be 18 years of age or older.
- Riders must pass a background check.
- Riders must be free of the influence of medications that could impair judgment.
- Riders must be able to effectively communicate with deputies, dispatch, and other law enforcement personnel to understand instructions and use the radio in an emergency situation.
Individuals with medical conditions are required to submit written consent from a medical doctor. This requirement ensures that all participants are able to assist in emergency situations by performing needed functions, such as quickly exiting the vehicle, running, lying flat on the ground or using the patrol vehicle radio without compromising the safety or mission of the deputy.
- All applicants, including those known personally to the deputy, must fill out the Request for Ride-Along form and sign the Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risk/Waiver of Claims.
- All applicants are subject to a criminal history background check.
- If approved, applicants will be notified of the date and time of their ride-along. Riders are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Sheriff’s Office.
- A deputy will provide a safety briefing before the ride-along begins, including the following:
- Wear a seatbelt at all times while inside the vehicle.
- Remain in the vehicle at all times, unless instructed by the hosting deputy to do otherwise.
- Follow all instructions given by the deputy without question or delay.
- Procedures in case of an emergency (e.g. how to use the radio to call for help).
- Bring water and snacks. Law enforcement calls are spontaneous, and there isn’t always time for a lunch break.
- Bring any medications you might need within the next 12 hours.
- Use the restroom prior to leaving.
- Ask lots of questions! The deputies are happy to answer them as long as they don’t interfere with their mission or safety. Do try to avoid talking during radio contact from Dispatch.
Law enforcement is dangerous, and at times involves tense and critical situations. In the interest of effective patrol operations, and for your safety, you will be expected to comply with the following regulations governing your conduct while riding in a patrol vehicle, while at the scene of any call, or on any Sheriff’s Office property.
Either the hosting deputy or a supervisor may terminate the ride-along at any time if it jeopardizes your or the deputy’s safety or detracts from the law enforcement mission.
- The deputy’s decision as to the extent of your involvement in situations is absolute. You MUST obey any instructions given you by any deputy or supervisor without question or delay.
- You WILL NOT handle or operate any equipment, including lights, siren, or firearms, unless told to do so by the deputy (i.e. using the radio to call for help).
- Participants must not leave the patrol vehicle unless instructed to do so by the deputy.
- Consumption of any alcoholic beverage or drugs prior to the ride-along is strictly prohibited.
- Tape recorders, cameras and other audio-visual equipment are prohibited.
- Set your cell phone to “silent” or “vibrate” to avoid distracting the deputy. Use only as needed.
- Firearms or any other items that may be used as a weapon are prohibited.
- You must be dressed appropriately (see “Ride-Along Attire,” below). The sergeant or officer in charge has the authority to deny you permission to ride along if your appearance detracts from the professional image of the Sheriff’s Office.
- You will convey to no person, by acts or statements, that you are a law enforcement deputy, or have the powers and authority of a law enforcement deputy.
- You will not involve yourself in any physical struggle or verbal intervention with any person(s) encountered; however, you are required by law to render assistance to the deputy should he/she request it of you.
- You may not discuss any the facts pertaining to an incident or investigation with another citizen, including the identities of involved or arrested individuals.
- You shall not converse with any prisoners, suspects, victims or witnesses nor shall you participate in any police activity unless directly requested by deputies.
- When the patrol unit is assigned to a dangerous call, you may be dropped off at a safe location where you must remain until the deputy or another unit picks you up.
The rider shall wear a nametag, identifying him/her as a Sheriff’s Office ride-along participant.
All ride-alongs shall wear appropriate attire, which may include:
Clean jeans, shorts, or denim outfits without visible rips, tears, holes, or patches
Polo shirts, banded collar shirts and button-down collar shirts
Blouses, sweaters, t-shirts or sweatshirts (clean, neat, without offensive or inappropriate logos, verbiage, or pictures)
Inappropriate clothing includes:
Faded, worn, acid-washed, torn, or patched items
Off-the-shoulder tops, bare midriff tops, low-cut blouses/dresses or tight- fitting items
Shorts or mini-skirts
Sandals, flip-flops or heels