Captain Chris Hsiung commands the Special Operations Division at the Mountain View Police Department in Northern California, and he has been serving there for over 21 years. Since 2012 he has managed the department’s social media strategy, platforms, and engagement with the community. He is recognized as an national industry leader with organizations like the International Association of Chiefs of Police, California POST, and GovTech. In this episode, Chris talks best practices for professional and personal online presence, with very practical insights for engaging the community, professionalism, and personal safety.
Chris offers the following professional cautions:
"As an officer, if you would not feel comfortable with someone publicly associating (your comments) to your professional job as an officer, you probably shouldn’t be talking about or posting it."
"If as an officer or police administrator you have a social media account where you are representing yourself or having photos of yourself in uniform, I consider that a professional social media platform. So anything you put on there, you need to be completely comfortable that it would be used as evidence in a court of law."
On a personal level, Chris talks about the issue of line-of-duty deaths or injuries where family members find out online before being told in person. He also mentions officer safety concerns for spouses who post online or would be inclined to comment on news about their spouse.
During the conversation, Chris references articles that he has written to aid our audience with the use of Social Media. The articles are linked below.
Social Media Resource Articles by Chris Hsiung:
A Medium to Engage Your Community Now (Public Management Magazine)
Bringing Social Media Strategy into the 21st Century (The Police Chief Magazine)
Stay in Your Lane (C.O.P.S. Newsletter)
Tweets and Opinions Don't Represent My Agency (Blog Article)
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