Police Ride-Alongs, A Legal Question
November 13, 2012 11:08 AM Subscribe
How much privilege do regular citizens on a Ride-Along have?
posted by mousepad to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think this question is better posed as a hypothetical. Most police departments, unless I'm uninformed, allow regular citizens to schedule something widely referred to as "Ride-Alongs," where they are given a short brief and then allowed to accompany a police officer on his/her shift (or a portion thereof). This scenario naturally puts the person in a position to gain intimate knowledge into the lives of others, some of whom probably live and work in the very same neighborhood. Which got me thinking...
Imagine some bad people have broken into your home, assaulted & robbed you and your family and made a successful getaway. The police are there now taking a report, asking questions and so forth, and so too is some person in plain clothes who just happens to be on a Ride-Along.
Now, assuming your nosy neighbor from across the street isn't allowed to just wander into the house while the police are there, and start listening to the interview while looking around at you and your family and your private home...to what degree does this other person (who could very well be the same nosy neighbor) have the right to do the same?
I suppose what I'm interested to know is:
What would typically occur if you expressed your desire to have only the necessary personnel present for the initial investigation, citing the desire for privacy?
What are the technical limitations/rights/privileges of a citizen on a Police Ride-Along, if it has been addressed by the legal system?
Same in the case of a television crew or other non-standard citizen.
and trivially, would it be any different if you happened to be a celebrity?