Things are changing so fast, and with all eyes on police officers, everything you do or say is on display. Police vehicles have GPS systems that track speed, headlights, location, seatbelts, and even how the car turns corners. Cameras in these vehicles are always recording. Not to mention, many civilians have cameras on them ready to film at any time.
New cops may expect to have a few moments to themselves for privacy, but that is far from the truth when you are in a squad car or interacting with civilians. Cops have to be careful how they portray themselves, even more so now with social media watching every move.
Here are 4 tips to consider regarding police privacy:
1. Educate your family members about privacy and inform them to act as if they are also on display.
2. Act as if your squad car is made of glass (like a fish bowl) because, everything about is on display.
3. Be mindful online. Do not post anything on websites or social sites that you are not willing to stand up for or answer to in the future. Just because you are off duty, doesn’t mean it’s ok. If this is too much trouble, you can always opt out of having a social media account. Be careful where you display your personal information. Do not list your address or phone number online, even in a Facebook event for a private party for example.
4. Assume you are always being recorded. Even if you are not, pretend that you are. This will create a habit of avoiding saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Always remember that you are working for the public, and therefore you are in front of the public at all times. With advancing technology, we cannot do things the way we used to. Keeping these tips in mind can help you and your families stay safe so you can continue to serve the public.