Should the Cohasset Police Facebook page be owned by the Town or Acting Police Chief Bill Quigley?

Note: I sent this letter to the Cohasset Board of Selectmen and acting Police Chef Bill Quigley on Sept. 9.
– 
Tanna Kasperowicz

___________________________

If you Google Cohasset Police, Facebook you get William Quigley’s Cohasset police FB Page.

All contacts on the page lead back to the Cohasset Police Department, and yet it is a private page being operated by the Acting Police Chief.

Bill Quigley’s name is greyed out in the upper left hand corner leading one to believe it’s not a live link. But it is. And when you happened to double click Quigley’s name you read the following:

About

William Quigley’s Cohasset Police FB Page

Mission

The mission of the Cohasset Police Department is to ensure a safe environment within the town, reduce crime, and to enhance the overall quality of life for visitors and citizens alike. We strive to meet these ends through community policing and by following a set of core values that reflect the finest nature of policing, which are: Excellence, Honor, Respect, Accountability, and Teamwork. 

Description

William Quigley’s Facebook Page of the Cohasset, Massachusetts Police Department. All photos, logos, and insignias are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and may not be used without express permission from Acting Chief of Police William Quigley, the creator/owner of this page. This page is PRIVATELY owned by William Quigley and not the property of the Town of Cohasset.

Please note that comments posted to this page will be monitored and we reserve the right to edit offensive comments, obscenities and profanity.

General Information

Anonymous tips can be sent to tips@cohassetpolice.com

Lots of people like this page, including me. But how is it that Bill Quigley gets to copyright the material on this page, much of which may be obtained via his association with the department…like he’s acting chief?

Either it’s a private site or it’s a public site. What do selectmen think it is?

If it’s a private site, does the Cohasset Police Logo belong there?

Should Bill Burnet be advertising all his triathlons on the site? Now it’s getting political with petitions for Quigley’s appointment, etc.. including a reprint of wicked local editorials saying Quigley should be made chief.

Thanks for your attention to this matter — not the biggest thing on your plates but I think it needs looking into.

Tanna Kasperowicz
Tinytown Unleashed

© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
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  2 comments for “Should the Cohasset Police Facebook page be owned by the Town or Acting Police Chief Bill Quigley?

  1. Mike Coughlin
    September 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Every profession has its Code of Ethics. For Town Managers its the International Association of County and Municipal Managers. For Chiefs and Acting Chiefs of Police its the International Association of Chiefs of Police Model Policy on Standards of Conduct

    With respect to Bill Quigleys Cohasset Police Facebook Page– two sections pop out

    IV 8 E. Officers are prohibited from using information gained from their positions as law enforcement to advance financial or other private interests of themselves.

    (Coughlin Comment: Bill is not maintaining a private website for financial gain- although allowing Bill Burnett to post petition information could be considered to benefit Bill–it is questionable for Bill to operate a private facebook which uses information he gains from his employment with the town )

    IV B Public Statements, Appearances and Endorsements Unless expressly authorized, making any statements, speeches or appearances that could reasonably be considered to represent the view of the agency ( is prohibited )

    Coughlin Comment: Unless the Acting Town Manager and/or the Board of Selectmen has authorized Bill to maintain a private website, this tenet of the Model Policy on Standards of Conduct is arguably being violated

  2. Mike Coughlin
    September 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    I must say I am shocked my this. In the three other towns that I have managed the police facebook page has always been owned by the town.

    When I became Town Manager in August 2011 I thought this was also the case in Cohasset. During Hurricane Irene, we used Bill Quigley’s facebook page for official information. We even directed people to the page on DPW flashing highway signs.

    There are many things wrong with a privately owned facebook page which any reasonable person would assume is an official entity. A review of police facebook pages from neighboring Hingham and Hull, nearby Weymouth as well as my hometown of Peabody all appear to be municipally controlled.

    A police facebook site is no place to advertise political orientated petition drives. It is outrageous that an individual who aspires to be chief to allow his facebook page to introduce politics into law enforcement. Maybe he forgets that he aspires to be appointed chief not elected sheriff.

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