Ride Alongs

Eligible Participants

The UC Santa Cruz Police Department encourages community involvement in the law enforcement process and allows interested persons to ride as passenger observers with patrol officers. The Ride-Along Program provides an opportunity for individuals to experience the law enforcement function first hand.

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 18 years of age (Exceptions may be with the concurrence of the chief of police and with parental approval)
  • prior criminal history
  • Pending criminal action
  • Pending lawsuit against the Department
  • Must not currently be under a driver’s license suspension or revocation from DMV
  • Must not have warrants outstanding for their arrest

Availability

The Ride-Along Program is available on most days of the week, with certain exceptions established by the supervisor handling the request. The ride-along times may be approved for any time of the day deemed appropriate by the Chief of Police, or shift supervisors.

Procedure to Request Ride-Along

Generally, the shift supervisor will schedule ride-along request. 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, prior approval must be obtained by the chief of police, a parent/guardian must be present to complete the Ride-Along Form. A shift supervisor will schedule a date, based on availability.

Program Requirements

Participants will be limited to two ride-alongs per six (6) month period. Ride-alongs are not to be used for socializing with acquaintances.

No more than one person will participate in a ride-along during any given time period. No more than one ride-along will be allowed in the officer's vehicle at a time.

Program Rules and Guidelines

Please see our policy on ride-alongs.

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 (CLETS Policies and procedures Manual 1.6.1.D.3.).

Application Procedure

To request a ride-along with an officer, please contact our dispatch center at 831.459.2231 ext. 1, and request to speak with the on-duty supervisor. You may also choose to send an email to: police@ucsc.edu.  

Applicants shall apply at least two weeks in advance of the ride-along date so records checks and scheduling can be accommodated. If you have any questions please call (831) 459-2231 ext. 1.