Bartlesville Police Offer Citizen Walks
The Bartlesville Police Department is restarting a program allowing the public to travel with officers, securing a “front row seat” for what their job entails.
Captain Jay Hastings said the program was put on hold during the pandemic and the department is relaunching it now that COVID-19 restrictions have been eased. Participants complete a form at the police station and, after a background check, will be offered a choice of shifts.
“Sometimes someone may know an officer they want to ride with, but other times we assign someone to ride with them. You don’t need to know an officer personally, ”Hastings said.
Participants will be briefed before the trip on what to expect and what to do when the agent is engaged to answer a call.
“We don’t allow them to carry guns or anything like that. You just ride as an observer and you probably won’t find yourself in the middle of any situation. You may be asked to stay in the car, depending on the call, ”Hastings said.
The program will give citizens time to get to know a police officer, see firsthand what their job is like and get to know the city in a different way.
Hastings said that sometimes it’s the friends and relatives of officers who want to better understand their work and other times it’s just the interested citizens.
“Bartlesville’s day is different from the night shift. You see Bartlesville in a different light. Obviously our evening shift is busier. Evenings and nights could open our eyes to the kind of calls we need to answer, ”Hastings said.
“It’s basically just to enlighten the citizen on what’s going on in the community and what the job of a police officer in Bartlesville involves.”