Even law enforcement employees have rules, and that doesn’t exclude what they post on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media network.
Porterdale Acting Police Chief Jason Cripps brought a social media and networking policy to the City Council Tuesday evening, in an effort to “outline expectations of the Porterdale Police Department officers and staff members.”
“I’m just trying to get some policies and procedures in place to cover the department and cover the officers,” Cripps said.
The policy states while employees have the right to free speech, anything published on someone’s personal social media site “should not be attributed to or reference” the city or the police department and should not appear to be endorsed by either.
Consequences of posting something inappropriate online, according to the policy, may result in an officer’s or employee’s immediate removal of the post and up to termination. Employees cannot (not all inclusively):
- Attribute personal postings to the city or police department
- Disclose confidential information
- Use logos, symbols or trademarks, etc., affiliated with the city or police department
- Post material that constitutes harassment, violates co-workers’ privacy rights or is disruptive to the work environment
Cripps said with people putting more “ranting and raving” on social media, “it’s becoming more and more relevant in our everyday lives” to give structure to an employer’s rules and regulations.