Ride-Along Program

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cab of a police patrol carFrom the front seat of a patrol car, you can see what it is like to work a shift as a Bozeman Police officer.

These unique experiences are available during both dayshift and nightshift on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Riders are welcome to stay for all or a portion of a 10-hours shift, but most people stay about 4-6 hours.

Riders are paired with a patrol officer and given the opporunity to ride in the patrol vehicle as the officer responds to calls, interacts with citizens, and works proactively within the community.

Before riding, riders will be required to sign a waiver form and indicate understanding of the following rules and requirements:

  • police vehicle at night with lights Please wear conservative clothing suitable for contacting the public and the weather conditions. Tank tops, sleeveless shirts, exposed midriffs, cut-off shorts, worn out jeans and high heel shoes are not acceptable clothing. Clothing described as business casual is recommended.
  • Audio and video recorders, cameras and camera phones will not be allowed unless authorized by a command officer.
  • It is important that you do not interfere in the officer’s activities. Please hold any questions you may have until after the officer has completed the call or is no longer in contact with a victim, suspect, prisoner or witness. Please note that the officer may not be able to answer your questions at the time you ask; and/or due to privacy concerns, may not be able to fully answer your questions.
  • You may not engage in any police activity unless specifically directed by an officer and may not be armed with any type of weapon, as defined under MCA §41-2-101(79). Exceptions to being armed apply to currently certified and sworn officers.
  • You may not leave the police car or talk with victims, prisoners, suspects, witnesses or other persons contacted regarding police business without first obtaining permission from the officer.
  • Depending on the circumstance(s), you may be dropped off at a safe location during your ride along and either retrieved by another officer or a friend or family member.
  • You are riding in the capacity of an observer only. The officer is in complete control at all times.
  • Keep in mind that you may be listed as a witness to a criminal incident, which may require you to complete written and/or taped statement, as well as require you to appear before a court of law to testify on behalf of the State of Montana.
  • You may ride only once every six (6) months. This gives an opportunity to others that may wish to ride. 
  • Failure to adhere to the above rules will result in termination of the ride and may result in suspension of all future ride requests.

Ride-along are scheduled as available. If interested, please call 582-2000 and ask to speak to the patrol sergeant on duty.