News & Resources

Oklahoma police department wants to screen Facebook pages

Feb 24, 2011 Matt Roesly

It is a process that has found its way into private employment practices, but even police officers are no longer immune to it - having their Facebook pages screened. According to WOFL-TV, the practice has spread to Norman, Oklahoma, where captain Tom Easley is asking prospective officers to supply their Facebook passwords as part of the department's background screening methods.
 The police department defends the step as a necessary element to a character background check, in addition to formal research regarding a prospective hire's criminal background. However, the move was not met with a positive response from one local resident, who sees the decision as an invasion of privacy. "I mean that's the same as letting them into your house and letting them search your entire belongings, you know. Where's the line?" James Wilson, a Normal resident, said to WOFL. Background screening is ongoing at the Howard County police department in Maryland. There, heads of the department are conducting rigorous screenings of new officers arriving from neighboring towns and counties, according to Columbia Patch.