News and Tribune

February 19, 2013

New Albany PD to limit use of social networking sites

TSI selected for Spring Street gateway project

By DANIEL SUDDEATH
daniel.suddeath@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — New Albany Police officers will not be allowed to post personal content on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter while at work under a new regulation approved Tuesday. 

The New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety agreed to add a section to the police department’s standard operating procedure guidelines limiting the use of social networking and other websites for working officers. 

Police officers are forbidden from making personal posts on websites while they are working. They may still use social networking sites for police research, as NAPD Chief Sherri Knight said the department regularly utilizes such sites for investigations. 

The new restrictions are patterned after similar regulations other police departments have implemented, she said. 

“It’s not the most strict, but it’s also not the most lenient,” Knight said of the new policy. 

The guidelines do not require approval from the local police union, according to Knight.

Across the country, officers have found themselves in trouble over social networking posts, Knight said. While there haven’t been any issues in New Albany, a policy was needed in order to establish what is expected out of local officers in hopes of avoiding any future issues, she explained.

Officers are permitted to post to social media websites during non-working hours.  

 

TSI SELECTED FOR GATEWAY PROJECT

Last week, New Albany-based contractor TSI Paving submitted the lowest of six bids to construct the Spring Street gateway project. 

The board of works approved TSI’s bid Tuesday, as typically the city reviews submissions for construction contracts for a week prior to accepting the offer. 

“We reviewed the bid and found it to be responsive,” said Wes Christmas, an engineer with the city-hired engineering firm Clark Dietz. 

The bid was accepted at $174,804. The city had asked for an alternate bid package to include a different type of paving for the project, but Christmas said the decision was made to stick with the base plan. 

The additional work would have cost up to $35,000 in additional funding. 

The gateway project is to include new medians, signage and extension of curbs to the New Albany entrance from Clark County, where Browns Station Way becomes Spring Street. 

Christmas said work could begin by March 1 with a targeted completion date of May 1, depending on the weather.