6-400 Ride-Along Program
The purpose of the Ride-Along Program is to improve police and public relations by familiarizing participants with the complex and unpredictable nature of police work.
Inquiries about the Ride-Along Program and requests for rides should be referred directly to the precinct/unit/division that the caller is interested in riding with. Each precinct/unit/division will handle its own ride-along requests. (05/01/92) (05/02/92)
Participants must normally be eighteen years of age. They will be assigned to a squad or vehicle with two officers unless an officer, with the approval of a supervisor, chooses otherwise. (05/01/92)
Ride-alongs are limited to one participant per squad or vehicle. The time limit for a ride-along is four hours; however, the supervisor and officers may agree to more hours. (05/01/92)
An officer’s involvement with the program is voluntary, but an officer who has taken friends as riders can reasonably be regarded as volunteering to take others.
Any variation or exception to the ride-along process requires the written permission of the Chief of Police or the Deputy Chief of the appropriate Field Services Bureau. (05/01/92) (05/10/04)
Each participant in a ride-along must read and complete a Ride-Along Program Release Form (MP-3009) prior to the ride-along. Participants under eighteen years of age must have the parent’s/guardian’s authorization section completed in order to be allowed to go on a ride-along.
Supervisors and officers taking the ride-along should request proper identification from the participant. Officers may request any additional information they deem necessary in order to review the ride-along application or screen the applicant.
Supervisors and officers may also evaluate the ride-along applicant immediately prior to the ride, making the final approval or denial decision at that time. (04/01/93)
Upon completion of a ride-along, the Ride-Along Program Release Form and any supporting paperwork shall be kept on file at the precinct/unit/division, where they will be retained for one year. (05/01/92) (04/01/93) (05/10/04)
Applicants who are not approved for the Ride-Along Program will be notified at the earliest opportunity and provided with the reasons for the denial. Those reasons shall be documented on the Ride-Along Program Release Form. Within three days, a copy of the form will be forwarded to the precinct/unit/division commander for review. Copies of ride-along denials shall be kept on file at the precinct/unit/division for a period of one year. (05/01/92) (05/10/04)
Supervisors shall ensure that officers instruct their ride-along of expected behavior prior to the ride. Ride-alongs shall be instructed to follow the directives of the officers during the ride.
Officers will also advise participants that failure to comply with reasonable directives or injecting themselves into a situation improperly will result in termination of the ride-along.
Ride-alongs are not authorized to operate any MPD equipment.
Officers may terminate a ride-along at any time. Reasons may include, but are not limited to, ride-along conduct or call-load needs.
In such incidents, the officers shall notify a supervisor that they have terminated the ride-along. The supervisor shall note the incident and reasons on the Ride-Along Release Form. The form should be forwarded to the precinct/unit/division commander for his/her review, where it will be kept on file for one year. (05/10/04)
City employees required to participate in the Ride-Along Program may participate without signing the Ride-Along Release Form (MP-3009). Shift supervisors will assign participants to whatever squad they deem appropriate. Participation in this category is limited to four hours unless otherwise ordered by a supervisor.
Note: Permit and temporary employees are not considered City or MPD employees and must follow the ride-along application procedures described in 6-401. (05/01/92)
Supervisors may authorize some allowances for MPD employees participating in the Ride-Along Program as deemed appropriate for job-related knowledge needs.
In order for a person under 18 years of age to participate in a ride-along, written parental or guardian approval is mandatory, per the City Attorney, and is included on the Ride-Along Program Release Form. For curfew concerns, refer to County Ordinance No. 16, Juvenile Curfew for Hennepin County, Section 4: Defenses, “the juvenile was going to, attending, or returning home from an official school, religious, or other recreational activity sponsored and/or supervised by a public entity or a civic organization. (05/10/04)
The MPD grants permission for youths involved in a MPD-sponsored law enforcement program to go on ride-alongs. MPD-sponsored programs are: the Explorers; Public Safety Internship Program; and the Police Athletic League (P.A.L.). (07/15/98) (05/10/04)
No one under the age of sixteen years and not involved in a MPD-sponsored program will be authorized to go on a ride-along without the written permission of the Chief of Police or Deputy Chief of the appropriate Field Services Bureau. Participants may ride along with precinct officers, Traffic officers, and CCP/SAFE personnel. (05/10/04)
An officer may request to decline participation in the Ride-Along Program for reasonable cause. Reasonable causes include situations that may result in discomfort for the participant, officer or MPD. Final decisions on all assignments are the responsibility of the commander. (05/01/92)
Commanders are responsible for the operation of the Ride-Along Program within their command. They are authorized to approve, modify or reject any request for participation. (05/01/92)
Commanders are responsible for ensuring that Ride-Along Program Release Forms are completed and applicants are approved prior to the ride-along. (05/01/92)
Commanders shall make every effort to assign ride-along participants to a squad or vehicle that patrols the applicant’s stated area of interest. Officers are not expected to participate more than once a month with no more than three days consecutively assigned. Exceptions may be made for volunteers and special assignments. Commanders should seek to be equitable in assignments. (05/01/92)
All participants authorized for the MPD’s Ride Along Program shall wear identification. Participants shall be issued ID cards marked “Ride-Along” that must be worn on their outermost garment during the duration of the ride-along, including when accompanying an officer outside the squad. All non-MPD ride-along participants shall sign the Visitor’s Log at the precinct/unit/division when they obtain the ride-along ID card. MPD employees may wear their MPD-issued photo ID cards in lieu of the “Ride-Along” ID.