Civilian Ride Along Program

The Caledonia County Sheriff's Office’s ride-along program is intended to provide civilians with first hand knowledge of policing functions, Police cruiseras well as a better understanding of the duties and responsibilities of a Deputy Sheriff. Through these efforts, it is desired that the Office will foster mutual respect between the public and the Office. Ride-alongs will also serve to provide service agencies and members of the media with an opportunity for an inside look at the daily functions of the Caledonia County Sheriff's Office.

The civilian ride-along program is also intended to provide law enforcement and criminal justice students, as well as students seeking career orientation, with first hand observation and conversation opportunities to enhance their classroom studies.

Ride Along Program Policy & Procedures

  • The Sheriff must approve participants in the ride-along program who are over the age of 18.
  • The Sheriff must approve participants who are under the age of 18.
  • Ride-along requests must be submitted in writing, stating the purpose for the ride-along and must be accompanied by a written waiver. If the participant is under the age of 18, the waiver and application must be signed by a parent/guardian. If the participant is representing an educational program, a representative of the program must also sign the application.

Participants, other than those who are students and doing the ride-along as a required portion of their studies, are limited to a maximum of 4 hours in any calendar year. Exceptions to the maximum ride-along hours may be made by the Sheriff if deemed appropriate.

Ride-along participants will be assigned to a Deputy by supervisory personnel. Ride-along participants shall not be assigned to accompany provisional or Special Deputies at any time. At no time shall more than one ride-along participant be in one cruiser.

Prior to the ride-along experience, the participant shall be provided a copy of this policy. The waiver shall include an acknowledgment that they have received, reviewed, understand, and agree to abide by the provisions of this policy.

The ride-along participant is under the direct command, authority, and responsibility of the Deputy to whom he/she is assigned and shall comply with all directions given.

Participants are OBSERVERS only and have no police authority. They are not to be used in place of another Deputy or expected to perform duties requiring law enforcement authority.

The participant shall:

  • Report promptly to the Caledonia County Sheriff's Office or other predetermined meeting location at the pre-arranged date and time.
  • Be appropriately dressed, groomed and prepared for the ride-along.
    • Males should wear dress pants, dress shirt, tie.
    • Females should wear dress pants, blouse/sweater. No dresses or skirts permitted.
    • Bring appropriate attire for weather (cold weather jacket, raincoat, etc.)
  • Wear the identification badge on the outermost garment, clearly visible to the public.
  • Comply with all directions and lawful requests of the Deputy in a prompt and courteous manner.
  • Call for assistance when necessary and/or as directed by the Deputy.
  • Stay with the Deputy and not wander, as the Deputy is responsible for the participant at all times.

The participant shall not:

  • Carry a firearm, edged weapon (knives), or chemical weapon (pepper spray) during a ride-along.
  • Carry a purse, knapsack, bookbag, or other personal items during the ride-along. Writing instruments and paper/pad are permitted.
  • Interfere with, or hamper in any way, the Deputy in the performance of their duties.
  • Handle evidence or discuss a case with a victim, witness, complainant or suspect. The content of all discussions, observations and action is to be considered confidential in nature and shall not be disclosed to, or discussed with anyone outside the Caledonia County Sheriff's Office without approval.
  • Drive a departmental vehicle unless an emergency arises and/or directed to do so by the Deputy.
  • Use the radio, except as directed, or in an emergency.
  • Exit the cruiser unless directed to do so by the Deputy.

For questions or more information on the Ride-along Program, please contact the Sheriff's office by telephone or (Email Address).

Download the Civilian Ride Along Program description(PDF)

Download the Civilian Ride Along Program application and waiver (PDF)


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