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10 Tips for Ride-Alongs

Dr. Richard Weinblatt

3) Wear Appropriate Clothing in Layers

As a ride-along in a marked police car, many folks will assume that you are some kind of detective or otherwise affiliated with the agency.  You want to dress professionally, but still geared for a dynamic environment.  I suggest business casual with comfortable shoes in the off chance you need to run out of the area.  No shorts or jeans with holes or T-shirts (especially with questionable graphics or wording on it). Do not wear clothing articles with law enforcement logos or graphics.  A collared polo shirt or button down shirt with khaki pants is appropriate.

Because officers wear bullet resistant vests, they tend to run hot, so they crank up the air-conditioning.  As a result, the front of the car can get quite cold.  The use of layered clothing allows you to regulate your comfort without infringing on the officer.  There can also be quite a temperature difference from being inside the car to being outside the vehicle.  The use of layered clothing enables you to manage that issue.

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