Social media policy causes unrest in Jasper, Missouri

JASPER, Mo. – On Thursday night, Jasper Police Chief Chad Karr posted on Facebook that the department’s page would be “temporarily deleted.” The department posts everything from birthdays to drug arrests to the page.

He says in the post that it’s due to a new social media policy that prevents city employees from making posts. He says he wasn’t told about the policy before it was approved.

Something that has residents concerned for the future of the page.

But, the city says the page, which is the only Facebook page run by a city department, won’t be impacted.

“We had plans not to change any of that. We haven’t said anything to anybody about the Jasper Police Department page,” says Jasper City Councilman Christian Ogle.

The policy says city employees can’t post anything about city business on city-run pages, or professional pages, without prior approval.

“It protects the city, protects the employees,” says Ogle.

Ogle says the department will still be able to post because they existed before the policy was put in place.

But, one thing from the policy does that apply to the police department is the fact the Chief will have to get approval from the city to talk to media, unless it involves a major incident.

“I mean, it’s information. It’s not going to you with bad stuff. We have nothing to hide. I don’t know what you’re after or what he’s after, or whoever’s after. It’s a policy for every employee in the city,” says Ogle.

We reached out to Chief Karr as well, who was willing to talk to us, but didn’t think he could because of the new policy.

The city’s full social media policy is below:

Jasper Social Media Policy