Can Social Media Increase Police Professional Liability Exposures?

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Can Social Media Increase Police Professional Liability Exposures?

Can Social Media Increase Police Professional Liability Exposures? Can Social Media Increase Police Professional Liability Exposures

Much of the country is still at odds after hearing the grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of young man. People on both sides of the issue have taken to public, print, broadcast and social media with their opinions on the matter, including police officials around the country. Occasionally these debates have gotten heated and escalated into other complications. Such was the case in Matagorda County Texas, were two police officers took to social media to express their support for the grand jury decision.

The two officers from the Bay City Police District were terminated after posting highly opinionated and aggressive responses to comments on made on the internet. The officers’ comments were taken as threats and harassment by two women whom the comments were directed at which sparked action from the police department. The department ultimately decided to terminate employment of the officers who were deemed to have violated the Bay City guidelines prohibiting harassment. One interesting part of this story is that the police officers were responding back to harassing comments made against them on their own private social media profiles. The two officers were ultimately cleared of the allegations of harassment, yet were both let go for violations of department policy.

This case is a unique example of the additional professional liability risks police officers and officials face every day.  Law enforcement professionals encounter a unique set of risk exposures and challenge through the course of their work, which includes the risk of someday facing charges against them. Breaches of professional liability and misconduct are the most common allegations against police officers, and these cases are becoming increasingly frequent. It is vital that police officers attain the proper Police Professional Liability coverage to help mitigate these and other risk exposures common to the profession.

At Professional Government Underwriters Inc., we specialize in police and law enforcement liability insurance.  Our Police Professional Liability Insurance can help protect you against a variety of work related liability claims so you can rest assured and continue fulfilling your civic duties. We also offer full service insurance writing for public officials and municipalities to help mitigate the risks that accompany serving the public. Please Contact Us today for more information about our coverage offerings.