I have done several ride-alongs and it WAS really eye-opening.
I had a cop tell me about the time they were in a gunfight with someone, firing into a building. Another cop rolled up, the cop jumped out of his car, and he started firing in the general direction of his colleagues. "Guys, what are we shooting at?" he said. The story was recounted as being hilarious, not horrifying.
I had a cop tell me about the way that when he found an asshole, he offered him a beating instead of an arrest. "You'd be surprised how many people take the beatin'," he told me.
I had a cop tell me about the time he visited a house for some kind of domestic complaint, and ended up banging the mom, and shortly after, banged the daughter. "You get more ass than a toilet seat in this job," he told me. "It can destroy some men."
Based on my experience doing ride-alongs I decided not to pursue a career as a cop.