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Pembroke to revisit ride-along ban
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Pembroke will take another look at its recently implemented policy banning ride alongs, which a city councilman said now prevents police from giving a lift to someone in need.
"Right now, they can't pick up someone who's broke down or somebody's grandmother who's walked off and gotten lost," said councilman Doug Kangeter at Monday's city council meeting.
The policy was changed in November to prohibit anyone who is not a Pembroke Police Department employee from riding in a police car. That measure came as a result of concerns over liability.
City Administrator Frank Etheridge told council members there is community relations value in the ride-alongs.
"The benefits for the department and city outweigh the risks," he said.
If Pembroke decides to adopt a ride-along policy, the city won't be alone.
Many law enforcement and public safety agencies around Georgia and the U.S. allow ride alongs to give residents a look at how police do their jobs, though those who participate usually have to sign waivers letting the department and city off the hook if something goes wrong.  
Pembroke Police Chief Mark Crowe said most of his requests for ride alongs came from students who are attending the police academy and have passed background checks.
"Right now, nobody is allowed in a police vehicle unless they're under arrest or work for the department," he said.
No action was taken, but Mayor Judy Cook asked Crowe, Etheridge and City Attorney Carol Miller to come up with a workable policy.
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