Community Ride-Along Program

The Program

The Citizen Ride-Along Program provides an opportunity for citizens to experience the law enforcement function first hand. The Marina Police Department Citizen Ride-Along Program is offered to residents, students, police officer applicants 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 15 years of age
  • Prior criminal history
  • Pending criminal action
  • Pending lawsuit against the Department
  • Denial by any supervisor


The Citizen Ride-Along Program is available 7 days per week. The available ride-along times are from 0900 to 2300 hours. Ride-alongs are for a period of no more than 4 hours at a time. Exceptions to this schedule may be made as approved by a police manager, or the Watch Commander.

Citizen Ride-Along Procedure

A ride-along request/liability waiver form may be picked up at the department or downloaded from the police department website at the link below. 

Citizen Ride-Along Form

Participants must complete this form and submit it to the department for approval. Information requested includes a valid ID or California driver’s license, address, and telephone number. If the participant is under 18 years of age, a parent/guardian must complete and sign the ride-along form.

All ride-along forms are to be turned into the Records Bureau, who will perform a criminal history and records check. They will also check to see if the applicant has completed a ride-along in the last 12 months or has ever been denied a request for a ride-along in the past. The completed form will then be forwarded to the Watch Commander for the shift requested. The Watch Commander will approve or deny the applicant and notify them of the time and date of the ride-along.

If the ride-along is denied after the request has been made, a representative of the Department will contact the applicant and advise him/her of the denial.

Once the ride-along arrives, the Watch Commander will assign him/her to an officer. After the ride-along has been completed, the Watch Commander will note that the ride-along was completed, which officer the ride-along rode with, the time period of the ride-along and any other pertinent information. The Watch Commander will then forward the completed form to the Records Bureau for retention for a 2 year period. Civilians may ride-along once in a 12 month period.

Ride-Along Criminal History Check

All non-sworn ride-along applicants are subject to a criminal history check. The criminal history check may include a local records check and a Department of Justice Automated Criminal History System check prior to their approval as a ride-along with a law enforcement officer (provided that the ride-along is not an employee of the Marina Police Department)

Suitable Attire

Any person approved to ride-along is required to be suitably dressed in a collared shirt, blouse or jacket, slacks and shoes. Sandals, t-shirts, tank tops, shorts and ripped or torn jeans are not permitted. Hats and ball caps will not be worn in the police vehicle. The Watch Commander or field supervisor may refuse a ride-along to anyone not properly dressed.

Rules Of Conduct

Persons riding with an officer of the Marina Police Department shall adhere to the following set of rules of conduct:

(a) The ride-along will follow the directions of the officer.

(b) The ride-along will not become involved in any investigation, handling of evidence, discussions with victims or suspects, or handling any police equipment.

(c) The ride-along may be terminated at any time and the officer may return the observer to their home or to the station if the ride-along interferes with the performance of the officer’s duties. The officer shall report this to the Watch Commander as soon as possible.

(d) The ride-along may be allowed to continue riding during the transportation and booking process provided this does not jeopardize their safety.

(e) Officers will not allow any ride-along to be present in any residences or situations that would jeopardize their safety or cause undue stress or embarrassment to a victim or any other citizen.

(f) Under no circumstance shall a civilian ride-along be permitted to enter a private residence with an officer without the expressed consent of the resident or other authorized person.

(g) The ride-along is prohibited from filming/recording or taking photographs of any suspects or persons arrested.