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Ride-Along Program


The Monterey Police Department is temporarily suspending all ride alongs to help reduce the spread of  the  COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Welcome to the Monterey Police Department’s Ride-Along Program.

We are pleased you are interested in participating in the program. We aim to offer you an experience that is enjoyable, as well as meaningful. Even though police patrol work is “routine”, there is a constant element of danger, which can suddenly present itself without warning and without regard on whom it strikes. Riding in a police car on patrol can put you in the same dangerous position as the Police Officer. For this reason, we feel it is necessary to establish some basic safety guidelines, as follows:

  • We ask that you conduct yourself as an OBSERVER, that is you must not become physically or verbally involved in an incident in which the officer is involved. Cameras, video, or audio recording are not permitted.
  • Please feel free to ask questions of the officer, but not while the officer is talking to a citizen. The officer’s full concentration will be directed to the citizen’s statements, questions, and actions. Any distraction could be dangerous, or at least prevent the officer from obtaining the complete details needed.
  • Remember that while you and the officer are riding on patrol, the officer is not “just driving around.” Patrol is the most important part of the officer’s job. The officer is expected to be alert, concentrate on safe driving, and at the same time look for violations of the law, hazardous conditions, suspicious circumstances and also listen to the police radio. If the officer stops talking to you in the middle of a sentence or does not seem to hear your question, it may be that the officer stopped to listen to a radio transmission or that something on the street caught the officers’ attention.
  • You may accompany the officer wherever the officer goes, but only with the officer’s permission. If the officer is called to a fight in progress, a domestic dispute or any other call in progress, please be alert and careful. We do not want to see you get hurt. The officer will ask you to remain in the patrol car if the officer feels a situation could place you in danger.
  • While in the patrol vehicle, all safety laws are in effect. At any given time, you might go from a slow routine patrol to a high speed chase with red lights and sirens. Wear your safety belt at ALL times.
  • The officer will explain the equipment inside the police car to you. DO NOT TOUCH ANY OF THIS EQUIPMENT. Feel free to inquire about the equipment, though.
  • Riders will be allowed to ride a maximum of two times per calendar year and for four hours each time. Exceptions to this rule must have prior approval.Riders must wear appropriate attire during the ride-along.
  • I understand and recognize the need for the Monterey Police Department to check the suitability of those who participate in the ride-along program. I authorize the Monterey Police Department and its employees to conduct an inquire into Department of Motor Vehicles, State Department of Justice, County of Monterey, and Monterey Police Department criminal history files and driving history records.


The Monterey Police Department Ride-Along Program is offered to residents, students and those employed within the City. 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 16 years of age (unless an MPD Explorer)
  • Prior criminal history (any prior felony conviction, or any felony or misdemeanor arrest within one year)
  • Pending criminal action
  • Pending lawsuit against the Department
  • Denial by any supervisor (ex., intoxication, poor personal hygiene, etc.)
Update May 2019: Due to an increase in ride along requests, the Monterey Police Department is limiting ride along requests to:
  • City of Monterey residents
  • Individuals working in the City of Monterey
  • Students attending school in Monterey
  • In a P.OS.T. approved police academy / Academy Graduate / Lateral Police Officer
  • Applicant with the Monterey Police Department
  • Police Explorer or Citizen’s Academy attendee
If you do not meet one of these requirements and would still like to request a ride along, please call the Watch Commander at (831) 646-3830.