Ride-Along Program

Program Guidelines

Please review the information in this document carefully. Keep it as a reminder of what is expected of you during your ride-along.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) provides University community members an opportunity to participate in a ride-along program with officers of the department. Guidelines have been established for this program:

  1. You must be a currently registered student, staff, faculty, or potential employee of the University.
  2. You must complete and submit the DPS Ride-Along Program Waiver form prior to the ride-along. If you are under the age of 18, you are required to have your parent or guardian’s signature on the form.
  3. The Patrol Commander or designee will review the program waiver form and decide on approval. You are also subject to a background check prior to approval.
  4. Approval and/or rejection of an applicant is subject to review by the Chief of Public Safety.
  5. Upon approval of the ride-along, a member of the DPS staff will contact you to arrange the date/time of the ride-along.

If you are approved to participate, you must abide by the following guidelines:

  1. Identification must be presented at the time of the ride-along for verification purposes.
  2. You must utilize the seat belts and any other safety equipment in the department vehicle.
  3. As officers respond to incidents, you are not to interfere with the officers while they are in the performance of their duty. You may be asked to remain in the department vehicle while the officer handles the call.
  4. It may be necessary for the officer to drop you off in a safe place before responding to a high-risk call. If this is the case, wait to be picked up by the officer at the same location where you were dropped off unless you were instructed otherwise.
  5. You are encouraged to take notes while observing an incident, and after the situation is cleared, the officer will explain what occurred and how it was handled.
  6. You may observe an event during the ride-along which could require your appearance in court as a witness for the state of New York. If subpoenaed as a witness, you will receive no compensation from the state or Syracuse University.
  7. You are not allowed to bring any type of weapon with you on the ride-along.
  8. Unless approved, no cameras or tape recorders allowed. If you do plan on bringing a camera, you must let us know at the time of your request.

During your participation in the ride-along program, you may obtain access to confidential information that must not be reported on or discussed after your ride-along. Even though you are encouraged to share your experiences from the ride-along with others, some things you learn must be kept confidential. It is not possible to list all types of confidential material; the list includes, but is not limited to:

  • The names/images of sexual offense victims
  • The names/images of juveniles involved in crimes
  • The names/images of seriously injured or deceased persons prior to notification of next of kin
  • Any information which may jeopardize the successful investigation of an incident or crime.

If you are unsure if any of the material you have collected during your ride-along violates one of these guidelines, ask the Patrol Commander if the material is suitable for publication.

If you decide to participate in the DPS Ride-Along Program, you must complete this waiver form. The Commander of Patrol will be in touch to set up your ride-along.