Ride-Along Observer Program

It is a goal of the Columbia Police Department (CPD) to constantly improve the relationship and communications between our agency and the community we serve. In pursuit of this goal, CPD offers a Ride-Along Observer Program to provide opportunities for citizens of our community and visitors to observe policing firsthand and, through personal interaction, become better acquainted with the duties and responsibilities of our agency and personnel.

The program is offered to civilians, visiting law enforcement officers, and potential police officer applicants. It provides a unique opportunity to OBSERVE the daily operations, activities, and functions of a Columbia Police Officer. Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate interested persons. Participation in the Ride-Along Observer Program is a privilege. Any applicant may be disqualified without cause from participating in the program. Factors that may be considered in disqualifying an applicant include, but are not limited to:

  • Being under 16 years of age;
  • Prior criminal history;
  • Pending criminal action;
  • Pending lawsuit against the Columbia Police Department; and/or
  • Denial by any supervisor.

Further information on the Ride-Along Observer Program policy can be found in Policy 410 of the Columbia Police Department Policy Manual.

Local Applicants 

The Ride-Along Observer Program Agreement must be completed and turned in to the front desk of the CPD lobby located at 600 E. Walnut Street.

Out of Area/State Applicants (18 & older) 

The Ride-Along Observer Agreement must be completed and can be mailed to 600 E. Walnut Street, Columbia, MO 65201, or can be scanned and e-mailed to CPDInfocenter@CoMo.gov.

Any questions regarding the Ride-Along Observer Program can be directed to Information Center Supervisor Kerri Severson at (573) 874-7418, or e-mailed to CPDInfocenter@CoMo.gov

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Policy 410 Ride-Along Observer Program