Many agencies have ride-along programs, which permit sworn agents and officers of other departments to participate with full police powers in enforcement duties. This is invariably done under the close supervision of local agency personnel, and usually requires waivers of some kind to be executed by the visiting agent. This particular type of program is a great opportunity for officers and agents to get an inside glimpse of the workings of an organization that is different from their own. For instance, it's great for small-town police officers to get an insider's view of large-city operations. Working within a division of a large operation can help that officer take all kinds of valuable information about teamwork and coordinated efforts back to his agency. Conversely, big-city officers can learn much about self-sufficiency from small-town police officers who work alone in rural areas where their nearest backup is twenty minutes to half an hour away.
Some departments, like the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, even have civilian ride-along programs that help citizens better understand the nature of police work and the value of the resource that is their local law enforcement agency. Naturally, a civilian ride-along is less intense than that offered to a law enforcement agent, but it does give them a brief taste of the job.