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.