Connecticut police warn officers about social media pitfalls


FILE – In this July 30, 2019, file photo, the social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store. Facebook is launching a long-promised tool that lets users block the social network from gathering information about them on outside websites and apps. Facebook said Tuesday, Aug. 20, that it is adding a place where users can see the activity that Facebook tracks outside its service. If they want, they can turn it off. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Several Connecticut police departments are cautioning their officers to be careful of what they post on social media while off duty.

The directives come after several high-profile cases nationwide of police officers posting racist, homophobic or violent comments on personal social media pages.

The Hartford Courant reports that Torrington Chief William Baldwin advised officers in a May memo that “what you post and have posted can come back to haunt you.”

Hartford Interim Police Chief James Thody last month advised officers to review rules on social media because “public trust, faith and legitimacy are essential requirements to be an effective police officer.

Dan Barrett, legal director of the ACLU of Connecticut, says police officers and other professions need to make sure they remain impartial and can treat everyone fairly.

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