Every once in a while you see a photo or video of security personnel in uniforms engaging in questionable activities making the rounds on social media. There are photos and videos of policemen and women drinking on duty and engaging in buffoonery not expected from an officer of the law. The leadership of the various security services are unhappy with this development and are drafting a policy to regulate the growing indiscipline displayed by some personnel on social media.
The move, according to the security apparatus, aims at preventing soldiers, policemen and women, fire service personnel and immigration service officials, among others, from disgracing the image of the various security services. Disturbing trends observed by the DAILY HERITAGE on social media show that security personnel in uniform, without regard to authority of the uniform, take selfies and snapshots and splash them on social media platforms, while others are found on Facebook, for instance, drinking alcohol and dancing at events without regard to the image of the service they serve.
The leadership of the various security agencies, in separate interviews with the DAILY HERITAGE, described the situation as worrisome. So far, there is no detailed legal regulation to guide personnel’s behavior on social media. However, the DAILY HERITAGE can confirm that some of the security agencies, particularly the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and Ghana Prisons Service, are in the process of putting together a regulation to arrest this growing concern.
Unlike the police, military, and prisons, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) are yet to consider any social media policy. For now, they rely on general rules regarding their relationship with the media. But, both conceded that in future the proponents of their regulations should look at drafting a social media policy for them.
With the advent of social media, a lot has changed within the security service. Checks reveal that its usage by some security personnel is condemnable. On Instagram, twitter, facebook, WhatsApp, Hi 5, Viber and others, some of these personnel are seen misconducting themselves to disgrace the image of the security apparatus.
There are various instances of officers posting videos of themselves sometimes at drinking bars. Relatives of some of these personnel are also seen posing in security uniforms as though they were officers. It is believed that this social media policy will check the behaviors of these recalcitrant personnel and their families.