Police commissioner issues social media rules for cops

68th Annual Columbus Day Parade
Under a new set of regulations by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, police officers cannot identify themselves as members of the department on social media sites. Credit: Getty Images

After two members of the FDNY were recently disciplined for posting racist slurs on Twitter, and a group of cops last year posted offensive comments on Facebook about the West Indian Day Parade, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has issued a set of regulations detailing what cops can and cannot post on social media sites.

According to the memo, cops cannot identify themselves as members of the Police Department on their social media profiles, The Daily News reports.

They also cannot create profiles for their units or precincts, and they are prohibited from posting pictures of themselves in uniform, except at official ceremonies.

“Members of the service utilizing personal social media sites are to exercise good judgement and demonstrate the same degree of professionalism expected of them while performing their official duties,” the memo reads.

Anyone who violates these rules is subject to disciplinary action, including termination. The rules apply to Facebook, Twitter and any other public social media sites.

The order explains that some activity on personal profiles can undermine the credibility of officers, the News reports.

Seventeen officers were disciplined last August after it was discovered that they posted to a Facebook page about the West Indian Day Parade, using offensive and racist terms to describe parade goers.

An FDNY spokesman said the fire department is in the process of amending its code of conduct to include social media guidelines, the News reports.


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