Operations>Ride Along Program
Ride-Along Program Office Phone: (661) 326-3470
If you are interested in the Ride- Along Program please mail or fax the completed Ride-Along Request Form to:
BPD - Ride-Along Program
1601 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301
PHONE: (661) 326-3884
FAX: (661) 852-2156
1301 Buena Vista Road
Bakersfield, CA 93311
PHONE: (661) 852-7856
FAX: (661) 852-2191
PURPOSE & SCOPE
The Ride-Along Program provides an opportunity for citizens to experience the law enforcement function first hand. This policy provides the requirements, approval process and hours of operation for the Ride-Along Program.
The Bakersfield Police Department Ride-Along Program is offered to residents, students and those employed within the City. Every attempt will be made to accommodate interested persons however any applicant may be disqualified without cause. The following factors may be considered in disqualifying an applicant and are not limited to:
• Being under 15 years of age
• Prior criminal history
• Pending criminal action
• Pending lawsuit against the Department
• Denial by any supervisor
The Ride-Along Program is available on most days of the week, with certain exceptions. The ride-along times are from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Exceptions to this schedule may be made as approved by the Chief of Police, Division Commander or Watch Commander.
PROCEDURE TO REQUEST A RIDE-ALONG
Generally, ride-along requests will be scheduled by the Operations Secretary. The participant will complete a ride-along waiver form. Information requested will include a valid ID or California driver’s license, address and telephone number. If the participant is under 18 years of age, a parent/guardian must be present to complete the Ride-Along Form. The Operations Secretary will schedule a date, based on availability, at least one week after the date of application. If approved, a copy will be forwarded to the respective Watch Commander as soon as possible for his/her scheduling considerations. If the ride-along is denied after the request has been made, a representative of the Department will contact the applicant and advise him/her of the denial.
Once approved, civilian ride-alongs will be allowed to ride no more than once every six months. An exception would apply to the following: Cadets, Explorers, RSVP, Chaplains, Reserves, police applicants and all others with approval of the Watch Commander. An effort will be made to ensure that no more than one citizen will participate in a ride-along during any given time period. Normally, no more than one ride-along will be allowed in the officer’s vehicle at a given time. Ride-along requirements for police cadets are covered in Policy Manual § 1048, “Police Cadet Program.”
Any person approved to ride along is required to be suitably dressed in collared shirt, blouse or jacket, slacks and shoes. Sandals, T-shirts, tank tops, shorts and ripped or torn blue jeans are not permitted. Hats and ball caps will not be worn in the police vehicle. The Watch Commander or field supervisor may refuse a ride along to anyone not properly dressed.
PEACE OFFICER RIDE-ALONGS
Off duty members of this department or any other law enforcement agency will not be permitted to ride-along with on duty officers without the expressed consent of the Watch Commander. In the event that such a ride-along is permitted, the off duty employee shall not be considered on duty and shall not represent themselves as a peace officer or participate in any law enforcement activity except as emergency circumstances may require.
RIDE-ALONG CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECK
All Ride-along applicants are subject to a criminal history check. The criminal history check may include a local records check and a Department of Justice Automated Criminal History System check through CLETS prior to their approval as a ride-along with a law enforcement officer (provided that the ride-along is not an employee of the Bakersfield Police Department) (CLETS Policies, Practices and Procedures Manual § 1.6.1.D.3.).
The officer shall advise the dispatcher that a ride-along is present in the vehicle before going into service. Officers shall consider the safety of the ride-along at all times. Officers should use sound discretion when encountering a potentially dangerous situation, and if feasible, let the participant out of the vehicle in a well lighted place of safety. The dispatcher will be advised of the situation and as soon as practical have another police unit respond to pick up the participant at that location. The ride-along may be continued or terminated at this time. The Operations Secretary is responsible for maintaining and scheduling ride-alongs. Upon completion of the ride-along, the yellow form shall be returned to the Operations Secretary with any comments which may be offered by the officer.
CONTROL OF RIDE-ALONG
The assigned employee shall maintain control over the ride-along at all times and instruct him/her in the conditions that necessarily limit their participation. These instructions should include:
(a) The ride-along will follow the directions of the officer
(b) The ride-along will not become involved in any investigation, handling of evidence, discussions with victims or suspects or handling any police equipment