Sylacauga police offer ride along program - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Sylacauga police offer ride along program

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SYLACAUGA - AL -

In Sylacauga, the police department wants to give you a ride, but, not in the back of a squad car.

A ride along program is being offered to allow people to see up close and personal what its like to wear the badge, and serve the people.

Sylacauga police Sergeant Matt Emlich says, "It builds relationships and gives the community a way to see what we do. About 95 percent of what we do is interact with the community and this is a good way for the citizens of Sylacauga to see that."

The ride along program has been in place since 1997, but the department wants to bring more awareness of it.

Emlich will say, being a police officer means more than just writing tickets and putting people behind bars.

"It's more about taking care of the people."

Before anyone can get in one of these squad cars, they must first fill out an application, and go through a background check.

Riders must follow directives given by the officer and civilians must remain with their assigned officer unless otherwise directed.

If an officer responds to a call while a passenger is with them:  "We try to keep them away from the process, just have them stay in the cars. Just to save them from whatever is going on."

After participating in a ride along, people must wait 90 days before applying again.

"We have a lot of people who are 'repeat offenders' if you want to call it, who ride along with us every three months," says Emlich.

Anyone interested should contact the Sylacauga police department. The number is (256) 249-0911

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