• Daniel Zehnder

Don’t Let Social Media Tell Your Story!

November 14, 2015




This YouTube video was recently posted on the Law Enforcement and Security Consulting Group of LinkedIn. This type of social media posting is becoming all too common. 25K+ hits on YouTube. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the vast majority of them came before the Chief was able to address the incident in the media. There was, undoubtedly, a rush to judgment on the part of many YouTube viewers because they didn’t know the details and saw it only from the perspective of a bystander clearly sympathetic to the female suspect. Under different circumstances this incident could have caused a host of issues for the officer and the agency. Every officer should go to work each day understanding the unfortunate social climate in which they operate. Every Chief or Sheriff must be prepared to address the actions of officers caught by external video. Body-worn cameras are part of the defense against the popular belief that officers are out on the streets of America being rogue enforcers. Yet many agency leaders are slow to embrace this technology as a means of educating the community, through open and balanced dissemination processes, about the great work the men and women of their departments do on a daily basis. Letting mainstream and social media tell the story through a selective perspective does a disservice to all police officers.

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