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0311.40, Personal Use of Social Media

Directive 311.40, Personal Use of Social Media (New)

Universal Review: 1/1/16-1/30/16

Definitions:

  • Social Media: Websites and other forms of Internet communication used to provide or share information, ideas, messages, photographs, videos and other content. Examples of social media sites include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr and LinkedIn.

Policy:

  1. The Police Bureau recognizes the right of members to personal expression and recognizes the increasing use of social media both personally and in the workplace.

2. While this Directive provides guidance on the personal use of social media, it is important to note the Police Bureau endorses the secure use of social media in the workplace to enhance community outreach, crime prevention, problem solving, and general information exchanges to foster relationships and productivity. Members will consult with the Public Information Officer, prior to posting information about the Police Bureau on workplace social media outlets for Bureau purposes.

3. When speaking on matters pursuant to a member’s official duties for the Police Bureau, a member’s speech is not considered to be legally protected and the Bureau may regulate that speech. When speaking on matters not related to the member’s official duties, the Bureau may still regulate the member’s speech if the speech impairs the effective and efficient operations of the Bureau. Communications that constitute protected union-related activities are not restricted by this policy.

4. Use of personal social media can relate to a member’s official position with the Police Bureau and may affect the effective operations of the Bureau. While members have a right to personal expression, members’ communications and sharing of information on social media cannot be detrimental to the effective and efficient operations of the Bureau, discredit the Bureau or bring the Bureau into disrepute.

Procedure:

  1. When using personal social media, members may express themselves as private citizens, but shall not:

1.1.   Post or use any image or likeness of Police Bureau badges, identification, name tags or plates, logos, patches, marked vehicles, marked equipment or other marked materials without the express permission of the Chief of Police, or his or her designee. An exception to this rule is members may post or use photographs of themselves in uniform taken while appearing for official ceremonies or recognition such as appointments, promotions, awards or commendations.

1.2.   Post, publish, transmit, share or disseminate any photographs, videos or images of any crime or accident scene or any Police Bureau operations or trainings.

1.3.   Post, publish, transmit, share or disseminate any Police Bureau information that is sensitive, confidential or otherwise protected against disclosure.

1.4.   Post, publish, transmit, share or disseminate any comments or information that discredit or bring into disrepute the Police Bureau or that promote or advocate any misconduct or violation of Bureau directives, policies or procedures.

1.5.   Post, publish, transmit, share or disseminate any comments or information regarding complaints, administrative investigations, criminal investigations, legal claims or court cases.

1.6.   Post, publish, transmit, share, disseminate or comment in support of any posting that is harassing, discriminatory or includes any threat of violence, any proposed violation of law or any activity that would endanger public safety.

1.7.   Post, publish, transmit, share, disseminate or comment in support of any posting that ridicules, disparages or expresses bias or disrespect towards any race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or any other legally protected classification.

1.8.   Post, publish, transmit or disseminate any statements, endorsements, information or materials that reasonably could be considered to represent the views or position of the Police Bureau or the City of Portland, without the express approval of the Chief of Police, or his or her designee.

1.9.   Use any Police Bureau or City of Portland email address to register for a personal social media account.

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