Observer Guidelines

  • If you need to cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled ride, contact the department’s non-emergency number at (847) 289-2700 to request that the information be relayed to a patrol supervisor. If you are a “no show,” you may not be permitted to schedule another ride-a-long. If you know in advance that you have a scheduling conflict, contact a crime prevention specialist at (847) 289-2530 to cancel.
  • If riding during a meal time, bring your own lunch or be prepared to purchase one.
  • Arrive five minutes prior to your scheduled time and advise the front desk officer that you have a scheduled ride-a-long; bring a copy of the observer form and a photo ID.
  • Dress business casual and wear comfortable shoes. Depending upon the weather, wear or bring a jacket. The officer may invite you to get out of the squad depending on the nature of the call.
  • Exercise proper personal hygiene.
  • Conduct yourself in professional manner; you are representing the Elgin police department.
  • You are not permitted to talk to the victims(s), suspect(s) or any other involved parties. We encourage questions, but reserve them for when you and the officer are not in the presence of others.
  • You are expected to comply with the confidentiality policy. Do not discuss any names, addresses, or specific incidents or information with anyone other than the officer.