While it may come as no surprise that the majority of people have at least one social media account, the threats that it brings are not as widely considered. From exposing personal information, preferences, views, and locations, social media increases the risk for many, law enforcement individuals are no exception. Therefore, these professionals need to carry the best Law Enforcement Liability and promote proper risk management solutions in the workplace to reduce the threat of exposures.
In recent years, law enforcement has worked to accommodate the influence of social media. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) states that while departments are concerned with minimizing the negative impact that speech not protected by the First Amendment may have on the department’s interests, they sometimes may neglect their responsibility to protect their employees. Especially as social media has diminished the barrier between personal and professional lives, there must be proper steps taken to protect law enforcement and their families.
Therefore, it’s recommended that a social media manager be hired in order to protect the core functions. Any red flags or potentially threatening posts can be mediated and even removed by the manager, if necessary.
In addition, ongoing training must be provided. Simply signing an agreement isn’t enough anymore-especially as social media continues to progress and become more advanced. To take it a step further, these professionals can petition to have their personal information removed from public and social websites. As law enforcement personnel are viewed as public figures, many websites will comply if questioned.
Lastly, it may be beneficial for law enforcement agencies to pay close attention to the conversations regarding their department on social media. This way, potential issues can be brought to light and in turn, mitigated and corrected.
Simply stated, the FBI notes that departments should initiate programs to foster awareness, education, and diligent management of employees’ online exposure. While not all claims can be predicted, becoming aware and prepared for such concerns can be an effective line of defense.
These claims are just some of the most common lawsuits our professionals hear about at Allied Public Risk. Allied Public Risk is dedicated solely to the underwriting of public entity exposures supported by our staffs’ years of experience and expertise in this niche market. Our seasoned professionals offer decades of specialized knowledge derived from helping manage and mitigate risks faced by public entities.
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