Sharing photos and posts about the scene of the March 7, 2014, crash that landed a silver car in a tree southeast of the Capitol got a few Capitol Police officers into trouble with the department.
Disciplinary action taken against one officer who posted "stupid stuff" got employees curious about what the agency deemed unprofessional when it comes to social media use, according to Jim Konczos, chairman of the Capitol Police Labor Committee’s executive board. So the union asked department leadership to clarify. Nearly a year later, Chief Kim C. Dine has issued strict new guidelines on how employees can use Facebook, participate in online forums and comment on news sites, both on and off the clock. The mandate, effective on Feb. 19, has some officers combing through their accounts on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other sites to ensure they are in compliance. It has also sparked a grievance from the union, alleging the policy goes too far and infringes on officer's constitutional rights to free speech and free association.