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  • Social Networking Sites

    My department is looking to implement a policy regarding the use of Social Networking sites off duty. Just wondering if any departments already have this policy in effect if so what are the restrictions on it.

  • #2
    Errr....are you trying to say they are wanting to dictate what you can and can't do off-duty...?

    Not sure if that is legal or not.....because what's next? No drinking in the bars in the County...? No eating fast food joints in the County...? No shopping at Wal-Mart..?

    I'd be looking for a new agency....but that's just me....

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    • #3
      Just a guess, but I imagine that the agency could rightly require that images on a person's personal space not contain uniforms, insignia or other visual cues about their agency, and restrict posting of information about activities undertaken while on duty, even though it is a personal site - personal, maybe, but clearly not private.

      I'm not a LEO, but I can certainly see the value in providing training on the potential benefits and risks of social networking sites - clearly they can be used as another intelligence source, and the potential pitfalls of their use by members of the law enforcement community.
      Last edited by GoodWitness; 01-04-2010, 04:54 PM. Reason: Grammar

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      • #4
        My agency doesn't regulate what we do off duty, but I look at it like this; EVERYONE can search on these social networking sites. If the good guys can find you on the internet, so can the bad guys. And if you put on there that you're a cop, and you want to do some sort of under cover or plain clothes work, you could be putting not only yourself, but your family and friends in harm's way.

        I used to have a facebook account, but I deleted it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by GoodWitness View Post
          Just a guess, but I imagine that the agency could rightly require that images on a person's personal space not contain uniforms, insignia or other visual cues about their agency, and restrict posting of information about activities undertaken while on duty, even though it is a personal site - personal, maybe, but clearly not private .
          I could see that...to a point...like not being an idiot and drinking beer in uniform.... or being stupid in uniform...and posting the pics. But what if you want to post a pic of you and your buddies all in Dress Uniforms during Police Week....or when you are playing softball and are in a Dept. t-shirt...? See what I am getting at....?

          From there.... what are they going to restrict next...?

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          • #6
            Our agency prohibits us to fill in where we work and no uniform, on duty pictures, or dept issues equipment is allowed. Also expect everything typed to be brought up in court someday. IE private messages are your friend.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mallninja View Post
              Our agency prohibits us to fill in where we work and no uniform, on duty pictures, or dept issues equipment is allowed. Also expect everything typed to be brought up in court someday. IE private messages are your friend.
              That's crazy to restrict OFF-DUTY conduct like that. Like I said above, I could see no pics in uniform drinking or screwing around....

              But what if you and 3-4 your buddies went to Police Week in DC (a very doable thing for you since you are in NJ) and wanted to post pics of your trip??

              What if you were at one of those Agency manditory fun days and wanted to post pics of you and your partners playing softball/volleyball? Or a pic in your uniform to show your military buddies in other States...? I just don't get it....but maybe thats me....

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              • #8
                I have a facebook now, but plan to take it down before I begin applying. Nothing to hide, just one less thing to go over during the hiring process..

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by NextGenOfc View Post
                  I have a facebook now, but plan to take it down before I begin applying. Nothing to hide, just one less thing to go over during the hiring process..
                  I am just curious why? Is it like a security issue or do depts. just not like facebook?
                  Entered Academy: 08/2010 Graduated Academy: 12/20/2010 Career Search: 12/20/2010 - Present Never doubt. Never look back. Never question what you have done. Live with conviction and honor.

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                  • #10
                    I'm friends with an officer on facebook. The only pics of him in uniform are from his swearing in. He got a little mad at a co-worker of mine for tagging him in a newspaper photo of him in action during a "public disturbance".

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                    • #11
                      I've got it. I just watch what I post....and make sure i know who all my friends are.

                      Hell, one can go through and only allow certain people to see certain pics now....plus all kinds of other security..... Most folks are just too lazy to do it...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NextGenOfc View Post
                        I have a facebook now, but plan to take it down before I begin applying. Nothing to hide, just one less thing to go over during the hiring process..
                        I was asked about that in a background once. I'm glad I'm old enough to not have got into that sort of thing and never started. Now I'm down that path I'm N-E-V-E-R going to have one.

                        One less thing to scrutinize.
                        _____________
                        "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

                        "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
                        - Cornelius Tacitus

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SCV-Sop View Post
                          I was asked about that in a background once. I'm glad I'm old enough to not have got into that sort of thing and never started. Now I'm down that path I'm N-E-V-E-R going to have one.

                          One less thing to scrutinize.
                          I have it to keep my family updated (since I am like 5000 miles away) and let them see pics of where I am at.....and stuff like that.

                          Have I used FB during backgrounds....? You bet...

                          I don't mind (if the person is of age) is having a beer/drink in pics....but when somene is puffing on a bong....or talks about driving drunk/doing stupid stuff/or posting pics of them doing said stupid stuff.....you've just put yourself in a hole.... a real big one.....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
                            I have it to keep my family updated (since I am like 5000 miles away) and let them see pics of where I am at.....and stuff like that.

                            Have I used FB during backgrounds....? You bet...

                            I don't mind (if the person is of age) is having a beer/drink in pics....but when somene is puffing on a bong....or talks about driving drunk/doing stupid stuff/or posting pics of them doing said stupid stuff.....you've just put yourself in a hole.... a real big one.....
                            If I may Officer, would a facebook adversely affect me in the future during a background?
                            Entered Academy: 08/2010 Graduated Academy: 12/20/2010 Career Search: 12/20/2010 - Present Never doubt. Never look back. Never question what you have done. Live with conviction and honor.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
                              That's crazy to restrict OFF-DUTY conduct like that. Like I said above, I could see no pics in uniform drinking or screwing around....

                              But what if you and 3-4 your buddies went to Police Week in DC (a very doable thing for you since you are in NJ) and wanted to post pics of your trip??

                              What if you were at one of those Agency manditory fun days and wanted to post pics of you and your partners playing softball/volleyball? Or a pic in your uniform to show your military buddies in other States...? I just don't get it....but maybe thats me....
                              bearcat, most agencies i know of in california have policies regarding tarnishing the image of the dept with off duty behavior (which extends to the internet). there is a great article in PORAC that i'll post when i can regarding defense attorneys using an officer's facebook content in court for purposes of destroying credibility

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