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Old 02-17-2010
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Default Ride Alongs

Hey guys, was wondering what your thoughts were on the ride along program. What type of etiquette is there for ride alongs. I do a lot of ride alongs with outside agencies. I have found that my experience with my Department has helped me when I ride along as a guest at other agencies. I like riding with officers who already know me and what I am all about but its also exciting when the supervisors send me out with new officers. I have found that each officer has different ways of approaching scenarios. Just wondering what you expext when you have a ride along riding with you.
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Old 02-18-2010
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The only ride alongs we do here is for the ACO newbes going to class to be certified. They have to do 20 hours with a certified ACO to get their certification. This is how they know what is going to go on when they become an ACO. After you're certified you're on your own pretty well.
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Old 02-18-2010
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As a "civilian" onlooker, I would say I like the idea of ride-alongs a lot. I sure do wish that our law enforcement would ride along with our ACOs here, and I am also sure that ride-alongs in the opposite "direction" would be good. Any time that an enforcement effort can see how another program does their enforcement seems like a good investment, IMO. Also, I think it would go a long way toward stemming a disturbing trend in my region toward regular law enforcement taking out animals that aren't in the least threatening, any time an animal is on the scene of a crime.

I have also wished, again, as a civilian, that I could ride along (or even just sit in on the call taking) of a local animal control. It is hard to imagine, I am sure, a lot of what happens on the streets. I'm a trained community mediator, and I'd be curious as to whether or how some of those skills might be interesting to the people on the street. I know that there are risks associated with being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't know how such programs are arranged, but because I see them in some areas, I have to believe that there are reasonable ways to mitigate the risks and still allow the sharing of experiences.
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Old 02-18-2010
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My 1st jurisdiction had a High School Senior do an internship type ride along with us.. she was not allowed out of the truck for cruelty calls or anything major, but was allowed out to help pick up a tame stray (non vicious "I found this puppy") type calls. She mainly was to observe us and how we do paperwork and get the jist of the job as well as help clean the dog pound... After her 'internship' she graduated HS, went to college and is now working for that agency... LOL, she actually replaced me when I left there...
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Old 02-20-2010
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One thing I expect...do what I say!!! I hate it when I tell a rider to stay in the truck or stand back and they want to call the dog and throw treats at it haha!! Other than that, show interest and be open to the info provided, I will leave you on the side of the road of you want to tell me I dont know what I am talking about, that you know better because you have two dogs and watch animal planet. I know you have much, much more experience in this field than your average ride along so my comment is not directed at you in anyway. Simply generalized
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Old 02-20-2010
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Yes, I understand. I also hate it when people ask for advice or help, and then turn around and ignore it, and THEN they come back again, and want me to help fix what they messed up. So, I get it. AND, I realize that there are lots of people who don't. What we THINK we know is the stuff that can get most of us in trouble the fastest, eh? <g>
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Old 02-20-2010
DRNEGRIN6 DRNEGRIN6 is offline
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I did my ride along about 2 years ago with three different officers (two different agencies). They were very different experiences. The first one was an ACO that was also undercover SPCA. Let's say, when I had to call him to schedule the ride along, I had to be careful how I addressed him since I did not know who he was with at any time. He usually was the one to call but I just never knew for sure if anyone was listening in. One of my classroom ACO trainers overheard the conversation between us and thought it was a drug buy. (It did not help much that I am a vet. and had access to drugs, LOL.) It got cleared up really quickly but I was a little concerned to say the least, initially. When I rode with him, the first thing he told me was "If I say duck, hit the ground. If I say out, kick the door open and slide under the van. This is "Blood and Crypt" area and I can't protect both of us with my gun." So listen to whatever your ACO trainer says.

The other two were from the same agency. They were more laid back since they were in located in the beach area of NJ. (The other was city.) We mostly drove around and spoke of cases that they were working on. It was a little different since being a vet., they questioned me about medical issues with some of the cases they were dealing with while I questioned them about the law since veterinarians are required to know the ACO/cruelty statutes and ordinances on a basic level. I could not have quoted the section or even find the section as a vet. As an ACO, I learned to look up statutes both on the computer and in the law books. In fact, now I assist lawyers/prosecutors in making/breaking their cases. Many ACOs now know of me and contact me for help with their cases.

I would repeat what the other ACOs have said, listen to the ACO you are with and whatever you do, DON'T DISTRACT THEM FROM THEIR JOB!!! It is a dangerous enough job that ACOs do without having to worry about someone else getting hurt on their shift. The few times that I have been seriously injured at work (as a vet.) has been when an owner has tried to help me or a staff member let go because they were afraid of getting hurt even though they had protective equipment on and I do not.

Before anyone asks why I don't have protective equipment on, ask any ACO as to how much feeling you have in your hands when you are wearing protective gloves. Nearly nothing. As a veterinarian, I have to be able to have feeling in my hands to tell what is wrong with an animal, at least to make a preliminary diagnosis. Not every animal can be sedated due to medical problems. Trying to get a muzzle on an aggressive animal can be a challenge at times. Try that with staff members that are fearful (mostly the new people) and/or owners in the room that are trying to tell you that "Fluffy" would never bite and/or otherwise trying to distract you.
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Old 02-23-2010
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Do you officers like taking ride alongs with you or are they just another thing to worry about?
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Old 02-23-2010
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I love taking ride alongs out with me, it doesnt matter who. Young, old, experienced, un experienced it is a chance to show someone what we do which most think they know, but have no idea.
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Old 02-23-2010
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I can only speak about when the ACOs I worked with brought a "newbie" with them. One of them brought the "newbie" to a rabies clinic where I was working as the vet. and he was working as the ACO. It was funny because with my being an ACO also, I did not respond the way a "regular vet." would act and if a dog became aggressive and I had to move away, I went into defensive tactics mode, knowing the ACO would respond and handle the dog while I got into a better position. The "newbie" watched the two of us work together and actually was taking notes. She stayed out of our way and seemed quite impressed with our handling of the animals and the speed at which we responded. These are things that the classroom just can't teach. I enjoyed being with the ride-along ACO-to-be but it seemed that the ACO was not happy. I think that the main reason he was not happy was because it was "forced" on him by the HO since the "newbie" was a relative of one of the municipal employees. He felt that he was baby-sitting rather than teaching. I love teaching so it was fun for me.
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