0630.30 Community Member Ride-Along Program

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
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0630.30 CommunityMember Ride-Along Program


  • DIR 0630.05 Vehicle Interventions and Pursuits
  • Ride-along Request Form (Intranet)


  • Ride-Along: A program available to community members that allows a person to accompany a Bureau member in a police vehicle to observe police actions.


1.      This policy establishes procedures for community member participation in the Bureau’s  Ride-Along Program.

2.      The Ride-Along Program encourages shared learning between community and Bureau members by providing an opportunity for community members to ride with and observe members performing police duties. The ride-along program is intended to increase community member exposure to police practices, policies, and procedures. The program helps reveal the complexity and variety of services performed by Bureau members and is a valuable resource for introducing a person who may be interested in policing to the nature of police work in the City of Portland.


1.      Ride-Along Program Participation.

1.1.   Application.

1.1.1.      Community members may apply for a ride-along by submitting a completed Ride-Along Request form to the desk attendant at the precinct where the ride-along will occur. The form is located at every Bureau precinct and available for download online; however, the Bureau does not accept electronic submissions.

1.2.   Eligibility.

1.2.1.      Program participants must be at least 16 years old. Responsibility Unit (RU) Managers may authorize an exception. The minor and a parent or guardian must sign the Ride-Along Request form to participate.

1.2.2.      Community members must complete a waiver and pass a comprehensive police records check to participate in the program. Certain prior convictions (e.g., felony conviction) will disqualify the person from participating in the program.            The police records check shall consist of a RegJIN records check, the Law Enforcement Data System/National Crime Information Center (LEDS/ NCIC) inquiry, Computerized Criminal History (CCH), and Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) check.

1.3.   Program participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage with their assigned Bureau member during the ride-along to allow for mutual learning and understanding between the community and Bureau member.

2.      Ride-Along Program Management.  

2.1.   Member Responsibilities.

2.1.1.      Prior to facilitating the ride-along, the member shall ensure that all involved parties have signed the Ride-Along Request form and complete a records check of the applicant.            Members are encouraged to keep a photocopy of the Ride-Along Request form in the event of an emergency.

2.1.2.      If the applicant passes the records check, the member shall:            Forward the completed Ride-Along Request form and a copy of the records check to the shift Sergeant; and            Direct the community member to verify their ride-along request with the shift Sergeant 24-hours in advance of the ride-along.

2.2.   Shift Sergeant Responsibilities.

2.2.1.      Approve, reject, or reschedule ride-along requests, taking into consideration:            Staffing level;            Number of other ride-alongs on the shift;            Records check completion and results;            Applicant’s reason for the request; and            Feasibility of specific requests made by the applicant.

2.2.2.      Ensure that a records check is completed prior to a ride-along.

2.2.3.      Request a volunteer member or assign one for the ride-along.

2.2.4.      Ensure there is one participant per car. Exceptions must receive the sergeant’s pre-approval.

2.2.5.      Store the signed ride-along form in the permanent ride-along storage file at the precinct.

2.2.6.      Monitor the number of ride-alongs taken by a person in an effort to accommodate other approved ride-along requests.

2.3.   RU Manager Responsibilities.

2.3.1.      Store Ride-Along Request forms in alphabetical order and maintain for 10 years. The Bureau maintains these forms in the event of a witness subpoena.

2.3.2.      Pre-approve, by signing the Ride-Along Request form, any ride-along that involves a community member participating in the program again within the past 12 months or when the participant is under 16 years old.

2.3.3.      Ensure the availability of the ride-along vest/jacket/identification badge.

3.      Participating Bureau Member Responsibilities.

3.1.   Participating members shall inform the community member of the following participant guidelines. Participants must:

3.1.1.      Remain in or return to the police vehicle during dangerous or sensitive situations (e.g., homicide, sex crime, deaths, etc.);

3.1.2.      In the interest of safety or to maintain the integrity of a scene, comply with lawful directions given by a Bureau member;

3.1.3.      Not operate equipment, unless a risk to the safety of the Bureau or community member exists or they receive Bureau member permission;

3.1.4.      Remain as an observer. Participants should not verbally or physically engage a person with whom a Bureau member has contact, unless a risk to the safety of the officer exists or the officer directs them to do so. The City will not be liable for a participant’s unauthorized intervention;

3.1.5.      Wear civilian clothing and a ride-along vest/jacket/identification badge on their outer clothing at all times when in the field. When not in the field, participants may remove the vest/jacket/identification badge (e.g., in a restaurant for meals, community meetings, etc.).            Participants are not allowed to carry a firearm, even if they have a concealed weapons permit, unless the participant is a certified police officer.

3.1.6.      Not enter or remain in a major crime scene; and

3.1.7.      Limit their movements, absent exigent circumstances, to places open to the public and places to which the participant has consent to enter.

3.2.   Members with a Ride-Along Program participant shall not initiate or join a vehicle pursuit.

4.      Other Bureau Member Considerations During the Ride-Along.

4.1.   Members shall consider the safety of the community and Bureau member, as well as the Bureau’s responsibilities to the community at all times. Therefore, members may end a ride-along at any time. If a member ends a ride along, the member should be mindful of the participant’s age, ability to access transportation, and safety when considering a drop-off location (i.e., convenience store, fire station, restaurant, etc.).

Effective:        5/6/2023

Next Review: 5/6/2025

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