Police officers say the best way for citizens to understand their job is to spend a shift on patrol, but it’s dangerous work, as a Glendale, Az., woman found out last month, says the Arizona Republic. Patty Bird, 52, accompanied her daughter-in-law, police Sgt. April Arredondo, on the graveyard shift. She looked on as Arredondo fatally shot a man who got off his motorcycle and fired a weapon at the women. Bird said she had ridden with Arredondo in hopes of getting a better understanding of her job.
“There is an inherent risk to riding along because you never know what the next call is going to be,” said Detective Frank Mendoza, a Chandler police spokesman. Most police departments require citizens to sign a liability waiver. Some have limited who can participate and what can happen on the ride-along. Phoenix prohibits officers from participating in pursuits with a civilian in the car. Residents on ride-alongs have witnessed police shootings in Jacksonville, Fl., and in Imperial Valley, Ca., in the past two years.