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Ride Along Policy

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Persons Allowed to Ride in City Vehicles

  1. The following persons are allowed to ride in City vehicles after signing a release and with Division Commander approval:
    1. Members of Critical Incident Situations Management.
    2. Assistant district attorneys and the District Attorney of Smith County.
    3. Law enforcement officers from other agencies.
    4. Selected instructors from Tyler Jr. College, UT - Tyler, and other colleges and universities.
    5. Police Applicants who have been scheduled to ride by the Department’s Recruiting Unit. as part of the application process
    6. Others as approved by the Chief of Police.
  2. Persons wishing to do a ride along must be at least 18 years of age unless an active member of the Law Enforcement Explorer Post who is at least 16 years of age with the approval of an Explorer Advisor.
  3. Upon receiving a request for a ride along the officer receiving the request must fill out a Rider Authorization Form including all the information asked for on the form. The Officer will check the Driver’s License, CCH, and In-House activity on the person seeking to ride. This information should be included on the form. The form will then be forwarded through the Chain of command for approval.
    A waiver form will be filled out and signed by the rider and a police supervisor before the person is allowed to ride.
  4. The following conditions apply to persons who have been approved to ride in police vehicles under this general order:
    1. Appropriate clothing will be worn. At a minimum this will include a business casual type shirt (generally one with a collar) and slacks. Jeans will be allowed if they are in good repair and clean. Shoes, boots, or tennis shoes are allowed. For female riders, dresses are allowed, but it should be suggested to the rider beforehand that pants would be more practical during the ride along.
    2. No shorts, T-Shirts or sandals will be allowed on a ride along.
    3. Clothing with any offensive writing or pictures will not be allowed.
    4. No weapons including firearms will be carried by the rider. This includes law enforcement officers from another agency unless specifically authorized beforehand by the Chief of Police or his designee.
    5. Riders will not take part in any law enforcement action and will follow the instructions of the officer they have been assigned to ride with. Officers will not allow riders to get into situations that have a likely potential of becoming dangerous (i.e, pursuits should not be conducted while a rider is in the patrol car).
    6. Body armor will be made available and the rider will be required to wear the armor.
    7. If at any time the officer assigned a rider feels that the rider is not following the listed conditions the officer will contact a sworn supervisor. If the supervisor concurs, the rider will be brought back to the police building and the supervisor will advise the rider that the ride along has been terminated after giving him or her an explanation. The supervisor will send an email to the Patrol Commander detailing the events leading to the ride along being terminated.
    8. Generally, civilian riders will be restricted to riding not more than one time within a one year period unless specifically approved by the Chief of Police or his designee.