TRENTON — The Police Training Commission (PTC) has proposed new rules for the review of law enforcement officers’ social media under New Jersey’s Police Licensing Act. The proposed rules will ensure that law enforcement agencies can take appropriate action against any law enforcement applicant or officer who uses social media in an illegal, improper, or unprofessional manner, or uses it to engage in conduct that is biased, discriminatory, or espouses the violent overthrow of the government.
The proposed rules apply to both law enforcement officer applicants and law enforcement officers. Under the proposed rules, applicants must disclose social media accounts and provide access to those accounts as part of the background check process; whereas current officers will not have to provide access to their social media accounts unless there is probable cause to believe the account has been used in a manner that violates New Jersey’s Police Licensing Act and/or the accompanying regulations.
The proposed rules also contain clarifications to existing rules regarding pre-employment qualifications, the Commission’s appeal jurisdiction, the standards for medical examinations, and the unauthorized disclosure of confidential records. These clarifications were made in response to comments received by the PTC during the course of prior rulemaking.
The new rule proposal was published in the New Jersey Register on January 16, 2024. The public has until March 16, 2024, to submit comments with regard to this proposal. Written comments should be sent via overnight mail or regular mail to the below address, or emailed to PTC@njdcj.org:
Police Training Commission
Division of Criminal Justice
Attention: PTC Public Comments
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
P.O. Box 085
Trenton, NJ 08625-0085