Social media posting policies for police departments

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Two controversial posts on Facebook lead to one Warrenton officer resigning, and another being placed on probation within the past few weeks.

Sgt. Shane McDaniel at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office said posts are monitored to make sure nothing inappropriate is going out on social media, and that as public officials, officers need to be extra careful of what they say.

"The employees of departments need to understand that their employer, their sheriff or their chief is holding them up to a higher standard," said McDaniel.

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office wants to remind the public that they're watching what their deputies say on social media.

"We're pretty stern on what our people do and what they say and the whole nine yards and it's kinda monitored," McDaniel said.

Posts are monitored by the shift leaders, public information officers, and even by Sheriff Roundtree if necessary. Sgt. McDaniel says when it comes to controversial issues like politics and race, he feels those conversations are best when kept off of social media.

"There is a time to hold a conversation about politics or any other topic but then there's also a time to not do it. If I'm going to talk about politics or any other controversial issue throughout the United States, then I'm going to do it at home," he said.

He also stresses that everyone in law enforcement needs to remember that they are leaders in the community.

"Being in the public eye, whether it be directing traffic, working accidents, answering calls, or even the public information officer, you kind of have to be mindful of what you put on your Facebook or as your Facebook status or your pictures," McDaniel said.

For more information about social media and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, you can head to their website.

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