Car chases, drug busts, disturbances of the peace,and robberies; those were some of the things I was hoping to witness during my police ride along.
One of my favorite police shows on TV was Southland. Each time I’ve watched it has continued to give me a new respect for the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday. So I wanted to witness first hand the day in the life of an officer.
I didn’t get to witness any of the above but I did get to see a lot of other variety that night. Our first item of business was for a witness to try to identify a person accused of doing a hit and run. The officer showed the witness several pictures of possible suspects and asked him to point out the offender. Unfortunately, the witness could not be positive of his choice of the suspect, who also looked very similar to another suspect.
Next, we responded to a juvenile runaway situation. We got the info from the parents who explained there was a conflict about the girl not wanting to leave with them and wanting to stay home instead. The process for taking the info took awhile because they have to be so detailed in any runaway situation in case the situation progresses to something worse. I was told that typically the juvenile comes home within a few hours but they still have to be cautious and do all the paperwork just in case it turns out worse.
Then we had to look for a missing vehicle taken by someone. The plot thickened when we later had to show up at a home where there was a domestic issue due to… get this. A father marrying his son’s wife!!! JERRY,JERRY,JERRY! (For those of you not familiar, this is a perfect Jerry Springer scenario) Apparently the son and his wife were separated and in the mean time the dad took her to Vegas and married her.
We later got a call about teenagers driving their cars through a park after dark. When we got there we saw only tracks thru the woods. We got out of the car and got to use our flashlights to see if there was any sign of them. They were already gone.
Then we got a call about a possible drunk driver and got to speed up on the expressway to chase him but nothing …. the car wasn’t even swerving when we approached it. We had several times that we pulled over cars for possible violations but it ended up being nothing to give tickets for.
Overall it was very interesting and I would love to do it again. I learned a lot. I also learned that police officers could be scanning your speed while you are driving in the opposite direction. I always thought I was safe then…. Not that I would be speeding.
No two nights are the same, so if a police ride along is on your list contact your local police department. Check out this site for more info before your ride along.