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Ride Alongs

edited 7 Mar 2013 in Ask a Officer
I've been a police explorer for three years now, and I've been on only a few ride-alongs due to my overloaded schedule, and I was wondering: Any Officers willing to share what annoys them the most about explorer riders/riders in general?
(Just so I can try to avoiding doing those things!)


  • Well we did intern programs and I know agencies in the area have explorer programs... One thing that annoyed me is if I was riding with a know-it-all. Be willing to learn and don't imply that you know as much as the officer does. Also listen very closely to the officer's directions such as staying in the car when instructed. It can become dangerous so the officer needs to know you'll follow his orders. Good luck and have fun.
  • 31 years has been a blink of an eye. But I would do it all over again if I had the
    the chance..
  • Even though I'm not wearing a badge yet (I'm waiting until I complete my degree), one thing I do advise is to go on as many ride-alongs as possible. A relatively nice officer I met up in Denver gave me that advice a few years ago, and I've followed that advice to a pretty good degree since then - I've learned quite a bit about law enforcement operations from a road patrol officer's perspective just from ride-alongs since then.
  • Agree with man_in_blue. Be willing to learn, and definitely ask questions. Also, when we say 'stay in the car', DO IT! My partner and I backed up a fellow officer (and his ride-along Explorer) a few weeks ago. I positioned myself so I could get in between the perp and the Explorer - and the ride-along stayed in the car. Nice kid and I hope he does become a cop someday. We need smart people! :)
  • Most officers I know are annoyed by having a civilian passenger. Make your ride-along short, just a couple hours at a time. Ask good questions and regardless of your knowledge or experience, don't act like you know it all, no one does but a lot of people come across this way. Good luck!
  • I'm an older Police Explorer, myself. My department limits us to 6 hours (maybe a few more if that particular officer trusts you a little more ;) ). But, from personal experience, always, ALWAYS do exactly what the officer tells you - no exceptions. While ride-alongs are meant to be an enjoyable experience, you are still taking part in real police work and it should be taken seriously. Trust me, there is time to joke around, but you need to be able to turn it "off" at the drop of a hat. Ultimately, ask questions and get involved, but don't cross the line. Also, every officer is different and has their own personality because we are all still human, so take their work styles in stride and learn what works for you and what doesn't, as a future officer.

    Honestly, you do have to prove yourself. What I meant by that is, you have to show the officers that you are mature, responsible, trustworthy, and SMART. The officer has enough to deal with and enough to remain vigilant about already, and you should not be a burden to him or her. Believe it or not, your actions NOW can - and probably will - dictate the possibility of you being hired as a police officer down the line.
  • Nothing personal, but you asked.
    Most annoying thing? Just being there. It upsets an officer's routine a lot.
    Keep the ride short.
    Don't try to impress him with what you learned on "COPS".
    Don't try to impress him with what you learned in school.
    However, don't just sit there either. It is ok to talk. Sports, family info (but not probing), hunting, fishing. No politics or religion.
    Don't ask for the same officer each time. Mix it up if you can.
    And above all, don't try to kiss up to the guy or drop names. It will backfire.
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