Ever wonder what it’s like to be one of the guys who ride along filming ‘Cops’? Last weekend I had the opportunity to join a police officer, one of my childhood friends, on his nightly shift in the City of Long Beach. In preparation I made sure to watch some tape before gameday, a.k.a. ‘Cops’ videos, and after signing a few forms ensuring I wouldn’t sue if I got shot in a crossfire we headed out on patrol.
As a civilian I wanted to make sure I blended in with the department so I brought a Lieutenant Dangle short short police uniform. Unfortunately impersonating a police officer, no matter how short the shorts, is frowned upon on a ride along so they shot that one down, no pun intended.
Immediately when we got in the cruiser I noticed there was a massive tactical shotgun and AR styled rifle sitting between us, luckily I didn’t end up needing to use either during our shift but needless to say I would’ve looked extremely badass holding one of those things as I ran away screaming from a gunfight.
In our first couple of hours not much happened. We pulled over a few suspicious vehicles and some sketchy bikers, but after hour 3 things started to heat up when we ordered a dark tinted car to pull to the curb. Rather than obey the command the car bolted through a motel parking lot and flew down PCH. We immediately went after them but by the time we finally had a chance to reach PCH the guy was gone. Either way throwing on the lights and chasing some asshole through the motel lot was pretty sick.
Later in the night was when the most interesting point of the shift happened. I still don’t know how my buddy spotted it but we ran the plates of a suspicious vehicle, low and behold it came up stolen earlier that day. Once again we pulled over the car and to my surprise my buddy drew his gun on the vehicle to which I replied “oh shit, it’s goin’ down” out loud. As soon as he got out of the car the guy in the stolen tore away and flew down a residential area. I was pumped. A FUCKIN CAR CHASE?! LET’S GO!
I’m amazed the guy didn’t wreck the stolen with the way he was driving. I mean the dude hit a road dip full speed and nearly ripped the bottom of his car off, which we did as well trying to keep up. Unfortunately we got the call to pull off as the risk chasing a non-violent felon at high speed was too risky to the general public, so once again we had to let the guy skirt off.
My buddy was PISSED and honestly so was I. That was the ideal situation. A full on, hour long car chase was sitting right in our lap and we had to pull off. Even so it was pretty sick to be in one for the 30 seconds we were.
At the end of the night we ended up arresting some guy who had some stolen property and tools to steal catalytic converters on him, so I got to see the dude get booked and jailed which finished off the shift with a nice cherry on top. All in all the night was awesome, had its wild moments and was filled with me constantly hotboxing my cop friend with farts in the police cruiser. I’d say if you ever get a chance to do a ride along, DO IT. Who knows, you might get lucky and catch a car chase.