- CrimeStoppers tip busts Killeen murder suspect
- Woman who faked cancer to pay for breast implants indicted for felony theft
- Temple man critically injured in stabbing
Christa Miller over at Cops 2.0 has a post on cops and social media. Given the rise in popularity in blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. we've seen a corresponding rise in cops making blunders by making inappropriate posts on them.
“What were they thinking?” is usually the response to an inappropriate social network posting. Short answer: they weren’t. Why? Because they weren’t thinking the same way an administrator thinks. Why? Because they’re not administrators? That’s a start. But it goes much deeper than that.I know that within some local departments, we've had a few incidents where an officer's social media use has led to disciplinary action. I've even seen one or two officers in the area let go because of the content they posted for all the world to see. Unfortunately, many department's responses to an officer's social media train wreck is a draconian "Thou shalt not" policy which really misses the point.
They weren’t thinking because they were more focused on the moment: taking a picture that would get them “points,” or venting their frustrations about a fact of a cop’s life.
Christa argues against such draconian policies.
I prefer to think in terms of “outstanding” professionals. PoliceOne.com makes reference to “5 percenters,” those officers who are exceptional performers in any situation whether tactical or mundane, who respond the right way because they’ve trained themselves to do so.
Put a 5 percenter online—or show 10-, 15-, or 20-percenters how to act online the same way they should wearing the badge in the real world—and you turn a potential liability into a very powerful tool. Officers who are allowed to tell their stories responsibly and respectfully accomplish a number of things:
- They show community members what it is they’re doing behind the restricted-access areas of the police station.
- They inform and educate about misunderstood or important topics to the community.
- They reinforce the perception that they’re part of a professional team, both the agency and their own unit.
The question for both administrators and cops is, how does your online activities represent your agency? What do you want people to think about you and your agency when they read your latest blog post? Do they come away thinking about how good your agency is? Or, do think think your name tag should read "Officer Barney Fife" and that you have to keep your one bullet in your pocket and not in your gun?