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Moose Jaw police officer in hot water over tweet about female prisoner

Image Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew, File
November 04, 2015 - 9:30 AM

MOOSE JAW, Sask. - A police officer in Moose Jaw, Sask., has been ordered to stop using Twitter after he tweeted comments about a female prisoner that many on social media didn't find that funny.

His tweet read: "Adult female prisoner asked officers to pass around a hat today to help her with bail money."

The tweet also included the hashtags "short of the goal," "she's still here," and "we don't wear hats."

"All of a sudden there were a lot of complaints that seemed to be coming through our Twitter account," said police chief Rick Bourassa.

"I saw the complaints about it and we deleted that message that evening and I sent out an apology to people for the content. It just doesn't reflect the values that we have. We have a very strong sense of treating people with dignity and respect."

Some people on Twitter called out the police for "their lack of professionalism and blatant disrespect" and for their contempt for the female prisoner.

"That was inexcusable," wrote a person with the Twitter handle Syanne Fay. "I truly hope the person manning your social media feeds gets some sort of sensitivity training."

Bourassa admitted he expected some "growing pains" after launching the official Twitter account to improve transparency and public openness about a year ago.

"There's an expectation of immediate communication through twitter and there's an expectation of some lighthearted communication and some entertainment through that," he said.

"We knew there would be a risk that there may be an inaccurate or inappropriate comment go out."

Bourassa says the Moose Jaw police service is working on a formal social media policy to replace the current informal policy.

He has spoken to the officer who sent the tweet and that officer won't be allowed to use the Twitter account until the matter is resolved.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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