Chattanooga police announce new virtual ride-along program

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / A police car is seen outside of Coyote Jack's as disorder prevention as the property owners gained access to the building on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

In an effort to better connect with the community, the Chattanooga Police Department has announced a new program to allow citizens to virtually ride along with a police officer on duty.

In an announcement on Wednesday, police Chief David Roddy said the new program will allow people to sign up to virtually be in the car with an officer for a half hour, or up to an hour. The citizen can learn about what's going on in the neighborhood and get a first-hand look at what it's like to be in a police vehicle during a call - or just have a conversation with an officer.

Roddy added that having a virtual component to the ride-along program offers access that some might get in person, whether someone has anxiety about being in a police car or is physically unable to do so or faces other barriers.