DPS restricts social media use of its officers

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The Department of Public Safety has issued a directive within the department that would restrict its officers’ posts on their personal social media accounts.

The directive, which was signed and issued by Police Director Aniceto Ogumuro last Tuesday, was confirmed by DPS spokesperson Dre Pangelinan to be true.

Pangelinan said the directive was sent out for two reasons, the most important being to prevent the “oversharing” of sensitive information in ongoing cases.

“The first reason is to prevent any future photo, video, audio postings of any ongoing cases. For example, if an officer responds to an incident he/she should refrain from taking pictures, or video at the scene and making them public on social media, especially if it is a sensitive case. Posting any media online with the victim exposed is uncaring toward the victim’s friends, family, or loved ones. The second reason is for the new graduates of the academy to acknowledge and understand the protocol on future cases,” he said.

According to Ogumoro, the directive will ensure that all DPS personnel adhere to departmental standards, while understanding their rights as private citizens, and how certain activities on social media can affect them as DPS employees.

“Because of recent posts on social media regarding matters of the department, I urge all commanders to hold a meeting with each employee to go over our social media directive and department rules and regulations to ensure that each employee understands,” he said.

The memo essentially instructs all DPS personnel to refrain from social media activities.

“The department understands that each employee is free to express themselves as private citizens, but regarding department matters, there are steps that employees can take to express their concerns. If an employee is found to be in violation of the directive on social media or any department rules and regulations, disciplinary/adverse action steps will be taken to address the matter,” he said.

Ogumuro declined to elaborate when asked about the memorandum, but he confirmed that it came from him.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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