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Police Group Issues Social Media Guide

A national law enforcement group has researched the issue of how Internet social media can be used for investigations, community outreach and recruiting, but also how it should be regulated to prevent negative effects for agencies. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has posted a “concepts and issues paper” and a model policy on using social media that attempts to strike a balance between positive official use of Twitter, Facebook and other Web resources, and yet still meet freedom of speech requirements when social media are used off-duty use by employees. Earlier this year a Wisconsin dispatcher was fired after posting on Facebook that she was addicted to drugs. She later pointed to the word “Ha” in the posting, traditionally an indication that the posting is a joke. She is appealing her termination. Within weeks of that incident the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) announced formation of a group to study use of social media by comm centers. Download (pdf) the IACP concepts and issues paper here, and the model policy here.

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