Law Enforcement Organizations are facing a tremendous problem with social media. On one hand, social media such as Facebook, My Space, and Twitter can be extremely useful for effective and efficient communication. On the other hand, Law Enforcement Executives are constantly facing situations in which employee misconduct is occurring through social media. Police Officers are accessing social media from their workstations and patrol cars during their shifts. Police Officers are posting information that is unbecoming for an officer as well as degrading and disrespectful to the profession.
Police Unions and Police Officer Organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police and the PBA are opposed to departmental policies that infringe on police officers' constitutional rights. How do law enforcement organizations regulate the use of social media? Just about every major law enforcement organization has a Facebook account associated with the organization's website. Therefore, should law enforcement organizations regulate individual officer's social media activity?
As the policy manager for your law enforcement organization, please research the best practices related to the regulation of police officers use of social media and develop a department policy. This research should include interviews with your local law enforcement leaders to determine how they are addressing this issue. In addition, please read the "Social Media" study conducted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police; it can be found in the Reading & Study folder.
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