WELCOME to the Alton Police Departments Ride-A-Long Program. The reason we wrote this letter is to inform you of what needs to be done before you can actually accompany an Officer while on duty. We also need to explain and have you understand that certain rules must be followed so that your safety and that of the Officer’s may be protected. Your Ride-A-Long Program packet should contain:
- Ride-A-Long Instruction Letter
- Application / Request Form
- Acknowledgment of Conduct Form
- Waiver & Release of Liability Form
- Applicant Program Evaluation Form
Generally speaking, police ride-a-longs are prohibited. One of the reasons is concern over liability should any person(s) involved get hurt for one reason or another. The other is because many police procedures are guarded for reasons of Officer safety and operational safe guards.
The Alton Police Department has opened the Ride-a-Long Program to all Town residence, because of its’ commitment to the community. The Alton Police Department’s commitment to community service, loyalty and pride is part of our efforts to bring both the Police Department and the community into a ‘partnership’ of trust and team work. The Alton Police Department recognizes and adheres to the philosophy that the Police Department and community are one in the same, with each striving to support the other in their efforts to preserve the dignity, quality and moral value of life here in Alton. It is our hope that by accompanying a Police Officer while in performance of his duties you will develop an exchange of understanding between each other, which will help individual Officers learn of your perspectives and you of his.
It is my hope as Chief of Police that your experience will be an eye-opening and memorable one; but first, let me explain what forms need to be filled out and turned in. One of the forms that must be read and signed by you is the Acknowledgement of Conduct form. This form, in brief, describes what is to happen should a life threatening emergency occur while you are riding with the Officer; or what will happen should you not abide by the rules.
The second form is the Application/Request form. This form tells us a little about you and gives us some record information we need to have which demonstrates what steps we took to make sure you are who you say you are, and to make sure you are a person of good character and community standing. If you are a minor under the age of 18 years old, it is important that your parent and/or guardian read all the documents along with you, and that they sign in the appropriate places. Remember, if you are under 18 years old, your parent or guardian will need to sign as the third person witness on the Waiver & Release form. [Important Note: due to additional complexities involved with minors, the program will be limited in numbers, and shall not allow anyone under the age of 16 years old to accompany an Officer in a cruiser].
The Waiver & Release of Liability form is not to be filled out by you. You are to read it thoroughly and in those applicable cases the parent/guardian will read it as well. On the day you are scheduled to ride you are to bring this form with you. If you are a minor under the age of 18 years old, your parent/guardian will need to accompany you to the station. Once there you will meet your host Officer. He will go over the Conduct and Liability forms with you. Once he is satisfied you fully understand the forms, then he will take you to a Justice of the Peace where the Liability form will be signed and completed. You will then be given a copy of the Waiver & Release of Liability form.
Once you turn in the your Application and Conduct forms, I will be in touch with you either by phone or letter to inform you as to whether or not the ride along is possible. I am looking forward to seeing your request come in. And, should you have any questions, suggestions or criticisms please give me a call.
Sincerely, Ryan L. Heath, Chief of Police