Ride-Along Program

Overview


The Department encourages participation in the Ride-Along Program in order to add to the public's knowledge and understanding of the day to day operations, problems, and complexities of policing.

Ride-Along participants will spend a portion of an officer's shift, typically four hours, accompanying them as they respond to calls for service and conduct daily patrol activities. 

Program Guidelines
The Ride-Along program is offered to the public on a limited basis to respect the balance of officer workloads and other operational limitations. The Department may limit the total number of ride-along requests granted each month.

Requests will be prioritized for potential police officer applicants and Fitchburg community members. Students submitting requests for educational course requirements are encouraged to coordinate with their instructors as we are unable to accommodate a high-number of requests from a class.

Standard Guidelines:
•Participants are limited to one ride-along per year.
•Due to liability issues ride-alongs must be eighteen or older.

COVID-19 Guidelines:
•To protect the health of department personnel and the public, we ask that you refrain from participating in a ride-along if you are sick or have had a recent close contact with an indvidual who tested positive for COVID-19.

How to Sign Up

Ride-alongs are generally scheduled for a four-hour block. Due to the nature of police work, it is impossible to forecast how busy a specific block of time may be. Please be prepared to indicate a preferred block of time 

If you are interested in participating in the program, please complete the ride along request form below:
Ride Along Request Form

Once submitted, a criminal history check will be completed, and if approved, your request will be sent to a scheduling supervisor. We appreciate your patience with this process.

Ride-Along Rules


Observers (ride-along participants) shall adhere to the following rules:
  • Observers shall not explicitly or implicitly identify themselves as a member of the police department.
  • Observers shall not accompany any officer into any residence or business place while the officer is conducting official business, unless directed to do so by the officer. Consideration will be given to state and local laws (i.e. juveniles not allowed to enter taverns).
  • Observers shall not leave any police vehicle at a traffic stop or traffic accident unless directed to do so by the officer.
  • Observers shall not use any department equipment, including the police radio, unless directed to do so by the officer.
  • Observers shall not have any weapons,  or recording devices (unless approved) while participating in the program.
  • All activities and information observed and overheard are confidential and shall not be disclosed by the observer without permission from the department.
  • Observers shall dress and conduct themselves so as not to offend members of the community or the department. Business casual dress, including close-toed footwear, is strongly encouraged. 
A ride-along may be terminated for failure to follow any of the above rules or other direction provided by a department member.