NYPD enrols officers in Twitter classes to stem social media gaffes

New York coppers are to be enrolled in Twitter classes following a series of embarrassing gaffes on the platform by officers; including a ‘joke’ tweet referencing a dead woman and a hashtag that went viral for all the wrong reasons.

The former saw Capt. Thomas Harnisch criticised for a tweet sent to a safe streets advocacy group when attending the scene of a subway track death. It read: ‘Let me guess, driver’s fault right?’

This was followed by a PR campaign using the hashtag ‘#myNYPD’ which exhorted members of the public to send in snaps of city police. Inevitably this was hijacked buy campaigners posting images of police brutality.

To prevent such mishaps in future the NYPD is instructing its senior commanders to ‘Use common sense’ when logging in and refrain from posting off-the-cuff remarks.

Instead they are being encouraged to focus on less racy material; such as praising local community groups whilst populating their timelines with wanted posters and public information such as crime statistics, road closures and accidents.

Commenting on the initiative Zachary Tumin, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for strategic initiatives, said: “It’s an opportunity for commanding officers . . . to share news while engaging with the people whom she or he serves.”

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