Policy for Limiting Social Media Use




Martin, Gregory Scott

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Law enforcement should make sure their officers are not using social media to harm themselves, violate the integrity of the profession, or bring a bad light to the local government that law enforcement serves. Law enforcement agencies should develop a policy that will limit the use of social media in order to protect the officers and the community. The policy should not be to prevent law enforcement from using social media, but instead should be to protect the officer and the agency. Law enforcement officers have posted online material that may cause danger to themselves or their families. Some law enforcement officers have posted online images or stories that have brought into question their integrity, caused cases to be dismissed from court, or in some cases, to be relieved of duty. Limiting the use of social media or other online activities can increase work productivity, create safer actions while at work, and provide a safer environment for the citizens of the community that law enforcement serves. Without a policy that will limit the use of social media, law enforcement agencies are not providing the best service to the community, thus posing a danger to the community and not upholding the ethical obligation to law enforcement.


Police--Community Relations, Police and Mass Media, Social Media