Posted by Nick Hrkman | Care and Usage, General, Law Enforcement, PPE, Safety
Friday, February 25th, 2011 9:02 am

A survival guide for law enforcement on Facebook

By Lauri Stevens
for PoliceOne.com

There are two words that should never be in the same sentence: Facebook and Privacy. The exceptions, of course, are if in the same sentence are other words like “don’t bet on it”, “not a chance” or “aint happenin’”. This post isn’t about slamming Facebook. I wouldn’t do that, I’m a Facebook fan. Nor is this a post about the stupid things some cops have done on Facebook which have caused embarrassment to their department, the compromising of a case, disciplinary action taken against them or even dismissal from their jobs. This post is about being a cop, being on Facebook and not compromising your safety or that of your family members or co-workers in the process.

I’m a huge proponent of law enforcement using Facebook and all social media in the strategic ways that make sense for their departments and their roles within them. In these cases, officers should always be using professional profiles, department email addresses and official photos. When citizens can go to their police department’s Facebook page and see posts by, and interact with, real officers, it’s a win-win for everyone. It’s especially essential that the officers in the very public-facing roles (Community Police Units, SROs, K9, etc) have visible profiles, as appropriate, and leverage these tools to the fullest extent possible. But that’s where it ends.

In October of 2010, Phoenix Police made a DUI stop and discovered a CD with many photographs and names of more than 30 Phoenix police officers and civilian employees which had been culled from Facebook profiles. On a flier distributed to law enforcement, posted here with permission, Phoenix PD’s Counterterrorism Unit advises to set profile settings to “friends only”. That’s a good first step. But it’s not enough. People who really want to harm you, like the people who create CD’s as described above, can still find you. The next several posts on this blog will take you through some crucial Facebook settings for officer safety.

For the full article, please visit PoliceOne.com.

One Response to “A survival guide for law enforcement on Facebook”

  1. it would be your own fault for not telling them you alaerdy had 2 out. if you are going to a different place each time, I doubt that they care how many you alaerdy have, so long as you can pay their back