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Policy Development Draft Assignment


The use of social media in the low enforcement industry has realized numerous benefits and drawbacks. One of the drawbacks that has been realized is the misuse of social media by the law enforcers. How the law enforcers are misusing social media is intentional while some are unintentional. In the recent past, social media abuse has been realized by sharing personal and confidential information on a case and sharing sexually explicit content, among others. Due to the actions, the law enforcers may face issues with credibility. To ensure that such occurrences are rare, the law enforcement agencies must regulate how officers use social media platforms during and after work. Development of a policy statement is vital in the case. The policy to be developed should be implemented to the latter.

Policy Development Draft Assignment


In the modern-day, technology has impacted human life in various positive and negative ways. The internet is one of the most recent innovations that has impacted humans significantly. Through the internet, communication has been made efficient, faster, and more effective through the use of tools such as social media platforms. The use of social media platforms has been widespread to the point that more than half the world’s population use at least one social media platform. Names of various social media platforms have been used synonymously for communication. For instance, people say that they are Facebooking, meaning using Facebook for communication. Unfortunately, the use of social aid platforms not only realizes benefits but also has major drawbacks, which vary (Fallik et al., 2020). The law enforcement agencies have embraced the use of social media, which has seen the agencies benefit and lose at the same time. In the paper, the benefits and drawbacks of social media to law enforcement will be discussed alongside strategies and policies that can be implemented to ensure the negative effects of social media in law enforcement are not experienced.

Law Enforcement Abuse of Social Media

Law enforcement agencies are having a tough time dealing with the use of social media among law enforcement. In the recent past, the world has witnessed a tremendous increase in the use of social media platforms across all areas, including law enforcement agencies. Without a doubt, social media platforms have helped numerous organizations and agencies. However, the use of social media poses a threat to the smooth operations of agencies and organizations. One of the reasons social media poses a threat to the success of various organizations and agencies is that people abuse social media (Sodhi et al., 2020). The abuse of social media platforms can be said to be intentional and unintentional, but regardless of the intentions, the negative effect of social media abuse is significant. In the law enforcement agency, the abuse is achieved on a personal and organizational level.

Personal and organizational abuse of social media in the law enforcement agency has experienced numerous undesirable effects. For instance, through posts made on social media, the law enforcement agencies and specific individuals in the agencies have had to answer tough questions regarding the use of social media. Some activities practiced on social media have seen law enforcement agencies lose credibility. For instance, in 2020, the police in the United States (US), specifically Minnesota, was under huge pressure for the activity performed y one f their own. A police officer from Minneapolis killed an African-American during an arrest, and a video taken by an amateur was shared on social media platforms. The video saw the rise of protests in various states in the US and heightened debates on racism, discrimination, and police brutality (Boateng & Chenane, 2020). The protests and debates reached the whole world through social media, which saw the US law enforcement agency under scrutiny from various entities worldwide.

Apart from the effects realized due to the use of social media by the public, various negative effects have been realized due to misuse of social media platforms. Law enforcement can misuse social media in various ways, including sharing confidential information, sexually explicit communication, defamatory messages, and impeachment of police witnesses (Boateng & Chenane, 2020). Through social media, police can share information unintentionally or knowingly. Regardless, once confidential information is shared with the public, the agency’s effectiveness is put at risk. The information can be posted by law enforcement individuals or people who have access to the information. In an era that cases of sexual abuse are rampant, sharing sexually explicit messages on social media brings about the incitement and normalization of undesired sexual behavior. Unfortunately, some law enforcement agencies have taken part in sharing such messages, making law enforcement lack credibility in such cases. A police officer’s social media activity can lead to their credibility being questioned (Fallik et al., 2020). For instance, if a police officer posts a photo while he or she is at a club, their statement in favor of a suspected drug dealer can be questioned. As a result, an innocent person may face punishment for a crime they did not commit.

Organizational Use of Social Media

Like in any other organization, social media brings about positive and negative effects on law enforcement agencies. Currently, law enforcement agencies are using social media to do investigations. For instance, the department of fraud and financial crimes are dependent on social media to investigate the lifestyle of various people. Financial institutions are using social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to investigate people involved in financial crimes, including tax evasion money laundering, among others. Through social media, law enforcement agencies have been able to find and arrest people involved in such crimes. Social media has also helped law enforcement reach out to the community they serve. Through the outreach programs, the law enforcement agencies can communicate vital information on security issues, including education. Social media has also helped law enforcement agencies to recruit and employ young people (Boateng & Chenane, 2020). Most young people are using social media daily, making it a sure way of reaching out to the population during recruitment.

Law Enforcement Best Practice for the Regulation Officer Social Media Activity

Since social media has helped law enforcement agencies in numerous ways, it is impossible and impractical to do away with social media in law enforcement agencies. Therefore, it is vital to look at the negative effects and come up with ways that can be implemented to ensure that the law enforcement agencies do not experience the undesirable effects of abuse or wrong use of social media among law enforcement agencies am individuals. The first best practice that would be recommended is to raise awareness of the positive and negative effects of social media. The law enforcement officers will understand why social media is important in the law enforcement industry. The next step is to ensure that the law enforcement officers are trained on using social media responsibly. It will entail training law enforcement on ways to use social media to help them in their work and give them insights on what activities can lead to the misuse and abuse of social media (Sodhi et al., 2020). Last but not least, law enforcement should discourage officers from using social media while at work as it may make them less attentive and increase their probability of abusing social media.

Departmental Policy Outline

Title: Social Media Policy

Purpose Statement: Social media has become an integral apt of the modern human population. It has seen the realization of numerous positive and negative effects in the law enforcement agencies. To deal with some of the negative effects of social media use, all law enforcement agencies shall adhere to the policy statement listed below.

Policy Statement:

  1. There is no use of social media platforms for personal consumption during work hours, except during breaks such as tea and lunch breaks.
  2. The organization’s social media platforms for official use, such as investigations, should be done only after consulting the relevant authority concerning the same.
  3. There should be no sharing of any case files, whether ongoing or closed, on any social media platform.


Communication technology has changed how people interact with each other. Modern communication technologies have seen communication become more effective and efficient, with people communicating with just a click on a button. Unfortunately, the ease in communication comes with numerous shortcomings, which must be looked into to ensure that the effectiveness realized as a result of the communication technology is enjoyed to the fullest. In law enforcement, officers are using social media platforms on a personal and organizational level. The officers can experience social media’s positive and negative effects by doing so. Some of the positive effects realized as a result of using social media include investigations, outreach programs, recruitment, and employment. Law enforcement can misuse social media in various ways, including sharing confidential information, sexually explicit communication, defamatory messages, and impeachment of police witnesses. To ensure that law enforcement agencies achieve only the desirable effects of social media, the organization should implement best practices and a policy statement to regulate the use of social media.


Boateng, F. D., & Chenane, J. (2020). Policing and social media: A mixed-method investigation of social media use by a small-town police department. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 22(3), 263–273.

Fallik, S. W., Deuchar, R., Crichlow, V. J., & Hodges, H. (2020). Policing through social media: a qualitative exploration. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 22(2), 208–218.

Sodhi, A., Aguilar, N., Choma, D. E., Steve, J. M., Patton, D., & Crandall, M. (2020). Social Media Representations of Law Enforcement within Four Diverse Chicago Neighborhoods. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 49(6), 832–852.


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