Juneau police contemplate social media use, after a widely-viewed Facebook post on a local fugitive

Deputy Chief David Campbell on Juneau Afternoon with host Christina Love on Nov. 4, 2019. (Photo by Scott Burton/KTOO)

As part of our monthly check in with the Juneau Police Department, Deputy Chief David Campbell and Juneau Afternoon host Christina Love talked about the use of social media in law enforcement.

The conversation was inspired by the department’s recently Facebook posts about a man who was wanted for questioning, and his eventual arrest. Combined, the posts received hundreds of likes, more than 100 comments and close to 200 shares.

Among other questions, host Love asked about how the police department makes the decision to use Facebook to find people. Deputy Chief Campbell said it is up to the PIO, or Public Information Officer.

“Being a PIO is a delicate situation because you’re trying to balance two concepts that are often times at odds with each other,” said Campbell.

“One concept is the public’s right to know. Right? The First Amendment. The freedom of the press is the public’s right to know. The public has a right to know what is going on in the community so they can take steps to protect themselves if something is going on. But then you also have, on the other side of the spectrum, the individual’s right to privacy,” Campbell said.

The two also talked about how Alaska’s Constitution protects privacy, and how social media can affect someone’s public image. Listen to the interview here:

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