'Cop Selfies' Hit the Internet, Cost Jobs

By Brett Snider, Esq. on August 07, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

We're all aware of the allure of the "selfie," that ubiquitous form of narcissism comprised mostly of teenagers posing for self-portraits using their smartphone cameras and bathroom mirrors.

But even though this kind of digital self-expression can cost self-photographers their current (and future) employment, it seems many of our upright police officers are not missing out on the selfie craze.

Just head to a popular Tumblr account called "CopSelfies" to see for yourself.

Highway to the Carlos Danger Zone

Police selfies may start innocently, with a uniformed pic in your office bathroom mirror, like one uploaded by user "leo thinblueline" (who also posted another selfie taken at home, dressed in a vest and with a bit more facial hair).

But as we all know, taking selfies can quickly escalate to something of Anthony Weiner-like proportions.

Just like any professional, cops should remember that posting selfies under an online pseudonym may be asking for trouble. While your online moniker may not be "Carlos Danger" or "Ron Mexico," even something like PunkRockCop92 could potentially draw some negative attention your way.

More often than not, it will lead to your police selfie being mocked ruthlessly online. In more extreme cases, it can even get a police officer fired for taking a selfie in uniform.

Selfie + Uniform = Fired

Case in point: Florida police Sgt. Penny Dane chose to resign in July after investigations revealed that she'd posted nearly 300 graphic selfies, some of them in her uniform, reports The Huffington Post.

Aside from the fact that Dane was using police computers to do much of her naughty selfie-posting, any employer can fire an employee for online posts that violate company policy, including officers who violate a department's code of conduct.

Snapping a selfie in uniform for your online dating/hookup app (e.g., Tindr, Grindr, OkCupid) is also a great way for your boss to find out that you like smoking pot when you hookup. Even if you're in a state which has legalized marijuana, broadcasting your image, in uniform, with the sole caption "420?" is not going to make you officer of the year.

To the brave men and women of law enforcement: Please take your police selfies with care. And if you choose to post them, know that they can and will be used against you by your employer.

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