Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Borough drafting tech, social media policy


A photo posted to the Haines Borough Police Department’s Facebook page on Halloween has brought the issue of drafting a social media policy for employees back to the fore, said interim manager Julie Cozzi.

The photo, posted by interim police chief Simon Ford, depicted a man holding a handgun standing next to a jack-o’-lantern, the face of which had been punched out by bullets. The photo was taken down after several residents complained.

“As soon as I found out about that, I just deleted the picture and learned a lesson that that’s not the appropriate vehicle to use to share humor. It is a borough website and it needs to be professional,” Ford said.

The complaints focused on the cavalier attitude toward firearms the photo seemed to be promoting.

Interim manager Julie Cozzi said she and the borough’s IT consultant Warren Johnson have been working on a draft technology policy for the past year, though the incident on the police Facebook page pushed it back to a higher priority.

“What this photo has done is kick it back up higher in the task list,” Cozzi said.

Cozzi said the policy dictates how employees can use public computers and private computers connected to the borough network. It also addresses what borough employees can post on social media, though Cozzi wasn’t clear if there would be a distinction between posting on borough and private Facebook pages.

Once the policy is finalized, all users of the borough computers will have to sign a waiver saying they have read and understand its contents, Cozzi said.