OUPD Ride Along Program
Welcome to the Ohio University Police Department Ride Along Program! We appreciate your interest in learning more about our department and hope your experience will be both enjoyable and educational.
If you are interested in riding with an Ohio University Police Officer during a shift, please take the following into consideration:
Although most of your time with us will likely involve routine police work, there is always the possibility of danger. Riding on patrol, in a marked police vehicle with a uniformed police officer, can place you in the same unexpected danger as the officer in the patrol car with you. For this reason, we have established the following guidelines, which must be followed at all times:
- No one under the age of sixteen (16) is permitted to ride along with OUPD without the specific authorization of the Chief of Police. OUPD also reserves the right to decline any request to ride along, regardless of age.
- Anyone seeking to ride with OUPD must present a valid, state-issued photo ID at the time of the ride along, and must read and sign the Ride Along Waiver. All riders are subject to a check for wants and warrants prior to riding along.
- Ride Alongs are typically limited to four (4) hours in duration. You may ride for less time if you wish. While the department will attempt to accommodate a rider's preference as to the officer with whom she/he rides, the department reserves the right to assign riders to officers as they see fit. Probationary officers may not have riders.
- During the ride along, conduct yourself as an observer. You must not become physically or verbally involved in any incident.
- Feel free to ask questions of the officer, but do not do so when she/he is involved in an investigation or any other matter wherein the officer's full attention is required.
- The officer may explain or demonstrate the uses for the various items of equipment inside the vehicle; however, you must not touch any of the equipment.
- Remember that while you are riding along, the officer is concentrating on a number of tasks that require him/her to be fully alert. If the officer at any time asks you to stop speaking, please do so without question.
- You may expect to go wherever the officer goes. If the officer is involved in a situation involving undue danger, you may be asked by the officer to remain in the patrol car to ensure your own safety. It is possible, but unlikely, that the officer may ask you to remain behind in a safe place while the officer responds to an extremely dangerous situation.
- Posting to social media during a ride along is prohibited unless explicitly approved in advance.
- Seat belt use is required in department vehicles at all times a vehicle is in motion.
If you are still interested in participating in the Ride Along program, you can find the Ride Along Application, Guidelines, and Waiver here. The completed form will be forwarded to the supervisor of the shift you are requesting to ride along on. Once the supervisor has reviewed the request, we will reach out to you to officially schedule the ride along based on our availability. The waiver will need to be signed in person by the rider (and the rider's parent/guardian if under 18) at the time of the ride along.
If you have any questions about the Ride Along program, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.