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Reaction to picture tweeted by EPS officer mixed
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Thursday, August 2, 2012 5:07PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 2, 2012 7:50PM MDT
Days after an Edmonton Police officer tweeted a photo, with a view down the barrel of his gun – reaction has been mixed, police said his tweets were part of a recruitment tool, but some worry it could send the wrong message.
The controversy stemmed from a tweet sent by Constable Brendan Power on Saturday, July 28 when he tweeted:
“This was how I spent my morning. Waiting to be released from an Armed ‘Standoff’ that was resolved peacefully.”
The tweet included a photo taken earlier that day, showing the view down the barrel of his gun.
Tony Simioni, the head of the Edmonton Police Association defended the picture.
“Whether it’s considered distasteful or not, it’s part of our reality,” Simioni said. “I’m going to have to emphasize the fact that he also emphasized that he’s thankful it ended peacefully.”
Cst. Power is one of several officers with an online presence, as part of an assignment to tweet about their work days.
Simioni says it’s not just a way to keep the public informed, it can also be seen as a recruitment tool.
“Some of the things that we do in this job, and that recruits or prospective recruits need to know, is exactly what he showed,” Simioni said. “We’re not glorifying that part of it.
“There’s no attempt to do that in my view, or the view of the police service.”
Some Edmontonians CTV News spoke to on Thursday questioned whether Cst. Power should have been tweeting while on the scene of the standoff – while others said it gives the public a glimpse of what a day in the life of an officer looks like.
“This is how he spent his day, that’s his job,” Christopher Erickson said. “He’s standing on a wall for us to protect us and this is what it looks like.”
When contacted, the Edmonton Police Service declined to comment, and only said the tweet doesn’t violate the EPS social media policy.
However, later Thursday afternoon, Cst. Power took to Twitter again, and said he would no longer tweet.
With files from Amanda Anderson
A composite image shows the tweet and picture posted online by Cst. Brendan Power on Saturday, July 28.