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IMPD restarting ride-along program

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Posted at 2:33 PM, Apr 20, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time since the pandemic started, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is inviting citizens into their patrol cars for a ride along.

The program was suspended due to COVID, but sign ups are now available.

IMPD Deputy Chief Josh Barker says a ride along is an opportunity for a community member or someone interested in a law enforcement career to get an up front experience about what the job is.

"I think people have to balance what they read in the headlines and the conversations with their friends about what they think law enforcement entails whereas a police ride along gives them an opportunity to spend a full 8.5 shift in a police car," Barker said.

Participants must be at least 18, sign a ride-along and waiver of liability and wear business casual attire on the ride along.

"[Participants will] have an opportunity to ask questions, see the officer interact in a countless variety of situations, make decisions, engage with the community, engage with their fellow officers and really just have a limitless opportunity to have a conversation about what policing in America is like," Barker said.

IMPD says they were frustrated when the opportunity had to shut down and are asking the public to take them up on this opportunity.

"This is an ability for our police department to interface one on one with someone who has experienced our policing services or observed our policing services," Barker said. "Even if you are uncertain about how you feel about the police department ... this too is a great opportunity for you."