Ready to roll with Officer Boyd
In July of 2015, I decided it was time again to take another ridealong with the Raleigh Police Department (RPD). I last did a ridealong in 2007 and learned so much about my community that I never would have learned otherwise. It seemed like a refresher was in order, so I contacted my beat officer, Officer J.D. Boyd, and we set up a Friday night to make it happen.
There were a few key differences for this ridealong compared to the last time. First, I got door-to-door service from RPD whereas last time I had to start and end at the Southeast District station. I also was afforded the use of a bulletproof vest which was not offered last time. Finally, I am a greenway volunteer with RPD and so I am not your typical citizen. I’m sort of part of the department. This means I got to do more during this ridealong than my last ridealong, but more on that in a minute.
The ridealong experience started with some prep on my part. Knowing that I would likely be up most of the night, I took a two-hour nap after work. This got me rested and alert for the ridealong. Without the nap I would’ve been toast!
Officer Boyd rolled up to my home about 9 PM and handed me my bulletproof vest to put on. I took a cue from my last ridealong and dressed nicely with a blue button-down shirt and slacks. If I was going to be meeting the public and potentially be in their homes I wanted to look professional. The vest wasn’t all that bulky but I was aware how it might get heavy if I had to wear it all the time. Once suited up, I returned outside.
Getting the lowdown on the gear
Boyd then gave me a quick rundown of safety stuff. He handed me a waiver to sign and then described where I could find his weapons and safety equipment, should I have to help him out. This was sobering! With a pic or two taken in front of his car, I waved goodbye to the family and we departed for our first call. It was a little disturbing how happy my son was to see his dad get whisked away in a police car!