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This Tennessee PD will let you do a ride-along – from your couch

The Chattanooga Police Department announced a new virtual ride-along program to help connect with the community


WTVC via Twitter

By Suzie Ziegler

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Chattanoogans are getting a new way to connect with their police department – all from the comfort of home. On Wednesday, the Chattanooga Police Department announced a virtual ride-along program that lets community members experience an officer’s shift in 30- to 60-minute slots.

According to News Channel 9, citizens can ask questions, share concerns, learn about police practices and converse with officers.

“Virtual conversations are a new way for CPD officers and community members to build relationships,” said Chief David Roddy in a statement. “I am proud of the work Ofc. Hamon put into creating this innovative program which is more inclusive for those who are unable to participate in CPD’s existing, established program.”

Virtual ride-alongs also offer new opportunities for community members who may not be able to do an in-car ride, Chattanooga PD says, including:

  • Flexibility for mobility-challenged community members

  • An alternative for some who may experience anxiety in an emergency situation

  • They are short, for those who don’t have time to participate in an hours-long ride

  • Helpful to those interested in pursuing a career as a police officer, and

  • An opportunity to someone who may not pass a background check needed for the in-car ride.

The department says officers are participating in the program voluntarily, according to News Channel 9