Ohio lawmaker launches ridealong challenge for police-community engagement

The #RideAlongAndLearn challenge calls on elected officials to engage with their local police by doing a ridealong


By Suzie Ziegler 

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari has launched a nationwide challenge dubbed “#RideAlongAndLearn,” according to a press release Wednesday from Ghanbari’s office. The program “challenges” elected officials to engage with their local police by doing a ridealong. 

“The law enforcement community is being ‘defunded through the demoralization of their profession,’” said Ghanbari. “I am challenging our elected officials and key influencers across the country to spend a shift on a ridealong with their local LEOs; it will provide an opportunity to gain an appreciation of their service, sacrifice, training and professionalism.”

Ohio State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari sits in a patrol car during a ride-along with Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Casimir Von Sacken.
Ohio State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari sits in a patrol car during a ride-along with Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Casimir Von Sacken. (Office of Ohio State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari)

According to the release, Ghanbari himself frequently rides with the Ohio State Patrol and other agencies in his district.  

Ghanbari hopes more public officials will participate in ridealongs to improve the dialogue between lawmakers, citizens, police and other first responders, the statement said.

[RELATED: This Tennessee PD will let you do a ride-along – from your couch]

The idea was embraced by Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio President Gary Wolske.

“It’s a great idea to have elected officials do ridealongs and understand what it's like,” Wolske said in a statement. “I think it’s important for them to physically see what goes on during an officer's day-to-day work. It's a different and relevant perspective that will help policymakers at the local, state and national levels.”

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