Social media and social networking faux pas have created a lot of commentary among public safety bloggers. What would they do if they were in charge?
There have a been a ton of news reports lately about fire and EMS personnel using personal technology, either on or off duty, and the disappointing results. Such actions have cost people their jobs, caused additional anguish to families, and in the case of a Connecticut EMT, set the precedent for a significant court case.
We’ve seen the comments and commentary, but what seems to be lacking is a definitive plan. Of course, you and I only have a relatively small sphere of influence – our own department. But what if it was up to you to draft a social media/social networking policy? It’s easy to say “I’d fire them” or “They should be immediately suspended” but as we’ve seen with these examples and other policy planning errors (i.e. Tennessee fire subscriptions) it is all “closing the barn door after the horse gets out.” I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to complain about a problem in your department you should give equal time to providing a solution as well.
So here’s your chance. Write out a draft policy on social media/networking for members of your department. Chances are good that most of you don’t already have one in place. Be serious about it as your work might be a catalyst for change, and could help prevent your department from experiencing some of the problems we’ve read about – and will continue to read about. Check our you current disciplinary process to be sure your draft policy is fair and legal.
Post your draft or link here by Sunday, 28 November.
The 6th edition compilation will be posted on Monday, 29 November.
Who knows? You just might be doing something your department could seriously consider.
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