Police in Connecticut Regulate Use of Social Websites

May 8, 2012

Several police departments in Connecticut are drafting rules for how officers may use social media websites.

Policies typically prohibit displays of official police emblems or personal comments to ensure posts or photos are not seen as being endorsed by police force.

The Hartford Courant reports that restrictions imposed by the New Britain Police Department have resulted in fewer officers using Facebook. Some erased any mention of their jobs or tightened up their settings to the maximum privacy level. Others stopped writing comments about the department.

Police administrators say regulating off-duty online communication isn’t different from rules governing officers’ letters to the editor or comments on radio call-in shows.

Police departments in Fairfield, Manchester and Naugatuck have had social media policies. Bloomfield, Bristol, East Hartford, New Canaan, Norwalk and Westport, are now considering regulations.

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