In order to promote positive relations between the community and law enforcement, the Northport Police Department has established the Citizen Observer Program. This program allows citizens to ride with officers during a normal tour of duty, after approval of his or her application and backgorund investigation. To be eligible for this program, the applicant must meet the criteria outlined below and pass a department background check. The application and waiver form for this program may be downloaded from the department forms page. The Citizen Observer Program application/waiver form must be completed and submitted to the on-duty Patrol Shift Commander at the Police Department, who will verify that applicants meet the criteria for the program and forward the packet to the Patrol Operations Commander.
The Patrol Operations Commander will review and forward the application to Communications for an N.C.I.C. check. In addition to the N.C.I.C. check, Communications personnel will be responsible for checking the person through the in-house databases and checking “wants” with other local agencies. Communications personnel will attach the results of the inquiry, etc. to the application.
The Patrol Operations Commander shall then approve or deny the application and contact the individual. When making assignments, the Patrol Operations Commander will attempt to honor the date and/or shift requested. However, all riding assignments will be made subject to scheduling and/or manpower restrictions.
CRITERIA: To be eligible for the ride-along program, the person must be at least 19 years of age and meet one of the following criteria:
- Be a resident or business owner in the City of Northport;
- Be an applicant for a position with the Northport Police Department;
- Be a civilian employee of the police department; or
- Be a student, currently enrolled in a criminal justice or related program in an accredited college or university.
- Sworn Northport Police officers may ride off duty with permission of the Shift Commander (no application required).
- The observer should be appropriately dressed; if not, Ride-Along approval may be cancelled by the on-duty Supervisor.
- Others, under special circumstances, may ride subject to approval by the Patrol Operations Commander.
- In the event that the spouse of an Officer is eligible under the criteria in this section and is approved for ride along, he or she will be assigned to an Officer other than his or her spouse during the ride along period.