document Speech and Use of Social Media

In Police Standard Operating Procedures

The growing popularity of the social media creates a new set of opportunities, challenges, and risks for any police department. Social media can occur in a variety of formats including chat rooms, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, micro blogging, podcasts, pictures, and video. Examples of social media include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. While employees have the right to free speech, expression, and to use social media channels, law enforcement personnel are held to a higher standard than the general public regarding standards of conduct and ethics. If not restricted by policy, this media can cause great embarrassment for your agency. It is recommended that your procedures manual include a written policy to provide guidelines for the regulation and balancing of employee speech and use of social media channels with the legitimate needs and objectives of the department. Speech, Social Media, PSOP-016