Social Media Guidelines and General Disclaimer

An essential goal of the Penn Hills Police Department is to support an open line of communication with members of the public and to do so with a level of transparency that encourages citizen interaction.  The use of social media enhances our ability to do this, mainly through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The Penn Hills Police Department offers Facebook (facebook.com/PennHillsPolice), and Twitter (@PennHillsPolice) pages as a public service to the community.  These accounts are not monitored in real-time.  To report a crime, speak with a police officer, or for any other issue that requires police assistance, please dial 911.

Postings made by the Penn Hills Police Department to our Facebook and Twitter pages are done so with the intention of providing the public with information we believe is relevant or newsworthy, and in some instances is necessary to release in the interest of public safety.

The Penn Hills Police Department makes reasonable efforts to check all posts for accuracy, veracity, and completeness when posted; however, we make no guarantees or warrant posting reliability.  Postings are made in “good faith,” though circumstances may arise that cause details to change over time, with new information being developed.  Should information from a posting change, become stale, or be deemed inaccurate, we will make reasonable efforts to update it as soon as practicable, upon such discovery.  Under no circumstances will information be posted that compromises the safety of the public, Penn Hills police officers, or members of other law enforcement agencies.

To encourage police/citizen interaction and co-operation, we welcome the posting of comments to our social media pages.  However, comments made by users do not necessarily reflect the views of the Penn Hills Police Department or its members, and shouldn’t be deemed as an endorsement by the Penn Hills Police Department or its members, nor should they be considered as being accurate or verified.  This also applies to any advertisements or third-party links that may appear on our social media pages.

All content on Penn Hills Police Department social media pages, to include user comments, is considered the property of the Penn Hills Police Department and may be subject to disclosure under the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act.

Comments posted on Penn Hills Police Department social media pages are not considered private and are available for viewing by anyone accessing said pages.  We urge you to protect your privacy and not list any personal or sensitive information about yourself when commenting on a post.  The Penn Hills Police Department does not and cannot guarantee your privacy when using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  Users should familiarize themselves with, and abide by, the terms and conditions set forth by Facebook and Twitter when using those applications.

At times, we may choose to reply to user comments to answer a question or to offer an update on a posting.  Unfortunately, we cannot respond to every comment, due to time constraints and other issues.

Though we welcome your comments, there are specific guidelines we ask that you adhere to when posting.  Comments must not contain any of the following:

  1. Obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit or otherwise offensive language/content, or links to such material;
  2. Threats of any kind, particularly toward any other user or the Penn Hills Police Department and its members;
  3. The advocating of criminal acts or other illegal behavior;
  4. Material that has the potential to compromise public safety or the safety of law enforcement personnel;
  5. Remarks that disparage or discriminate against anyone based upon their sex, race, creed, religious views, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, etc.;
  6. Comments that may be considered libel made toward any person or organization;
  7. Anything that is clearly off the intended topic of discussion;
  8. Information that is inaccurate, unverified, and purposefully designed to mislead others;
  9. Campaigning of any type, political or otherwise;
  10. Links to other third-party sites or advertisements;
  11. Any form of solicitation; and
  12. Any other language/material deemed inappropriate or offensive

Any comments that violate these guidelines may be removed by the Penn Hills Police Department at its sole discretion and without prior warning or notice.  The Penn Hills Police Department also reserves the right to block access to our social media pages to any user violating these guidelines, without prior warning or notice.

We understand that some topics may bring about intense feelings from users, but we ask that you exercise good judgment, common courtesy, and reasonableness when posting your comments.  Thanks for your understanding in this matter.

The Penn Hills Police Department reserves the right to make changes to these guidelines without notice, and when it becomes necessary to do so.  Changes made to these guidelines will take effect the moment they’re updated on the official Penn Hills Police Department website (www.pennhillspolice.com) and viewable to the public.  Please check these guidelines periodically for possible revisions.

Date of Last Revision: March 29, 2018

Social Media Guidelines and General Disclaimer – Printable version

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