Tupelo police offer a ride to the curious

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – If you want to know what Tupelo police officers do from day to day, you now have a chance to see for yourself from the front seat of a patrol car.
As a part of the Community Oriented Policing program, Police Chief Tony Carleton is inviting residents to ride along with police officers to see what they do on the job. He said it’s a way to help build relationships between police and the community.
“People think we just go around and arrest people, and that’s just one part of our job,” Carleton said. “This is a way for us to introduce to the general public what we really do. We will not put them in harm’s way but they will get a good law enforcement experience.”
Shelter Insurance Agent Toby Hedges will be the first person to participate in the program. He will start his ride along at 6 p.m. today with an officer from the Street Crime Unit.
“I heard about the program and thought it would be a great idea to get out there and see what happens in the city,” Hedges said. “I think this is something that can benefit the community and police, so people should take advantage of it. I’m excited and curious to see what goes on around town that people don’t see or hear about every day.”
Participants can ride an entire 12-hour shift if they would like to, Carleton said.
“Just come out and see what we do and learn about some of the officers,” said Carleton. “Take time to get to know us and we’d love to get to know you. As police officers we are a part of this community, but we want the community to be a part of our department as well.”

- For more information on the ride-along program, call the Tupelo Police Department at (662) 842-6402.