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I recently found out about the police ride-along thing, at first I thought it is some fiction in movies. Anyway, are tourists on B1/B2 visas allowed to take that dream ride?

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What is a ride along – user141 May 30 '14 at 19:51
@andra You ride along on patrol with police officers. – Karlson May 30 '14 at 19:55
There are no national guidelines. Public ride-alongs are mostly a feature of local law enforcement— there are a few state troopers that allow it, for example for people applying for jobs with the force— but in any case you would need to check with the particular law enforcement agency you are interested in for requirements. As Karlson notes, citizenship or visa status would probably not be the issue, but the ability of that local agency to perform a background check. – choster May 30 '14 at 20:22
Note that the US does not have a police force (besides US Marshals, Secret Service, FBI, etc.) Everyday policing is the responsibility of the state/county/city. – Max May 31 '14 at 0:10
What's a dream ride about it? I did it long ago, you see the cop doing totally routine things. She would not have been sent into anything hazardous with a ride-along in the car. – Loren Pechtel Jun 1 '14 at 20:38
up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you check the programs listed in the other question regarding the ride-along

Police ride along in London

there is no restriction documented for foreigners to participate in a ride-along programs. However, it is more likely then not that you might be denied because, while I cannot say for sure about other departments, it is quite likely that you're a subject to the background check such as in the case of California State University, Fullerton or Howard County, MD Police Department.

So given that you don't have a US SSN and an associated driver's license it is more difficult to perform and thus more likely to be denied.

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Hmm, as a foreigner who does have an old SSN and an international driver's license...I wonder... ;) – Mark Mayo May 30 '14 at 23:37

Probably not. Most police departments allow only local residents. Also, many of them will do a background check before allowing one in the police car. As you are a tourist, you are most likely to be denied. However, USA is an open country. When you are here, contact the local police office with a smile and good manner and they may let you ride along.

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