Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice

Major Advisor

Andrew Giacomazzi, Ph.D.


Lisa G. Bostaph, Ph.D.


Danielle J. Murdoch, Ph.D.


The use of social media as a medium of communication has increased significantly over the past decade, and as such, there is huge potential for reaching a large audience with any information one wishes-positive or negative. Law enforcement is no exception to the social media craze. Agencies across the country have begun to use social media in their departments for public relations activities, and investigations, among other goals. The rapid growth and adoption of social media brings with it the potential for important precautionary steps to be overlooked. Due to this rapid shift in online communication and ever-increasing popularity of social media, there are steps that should be taken by departments before they become involved in an extremely public and interactive form of communication. One important step includes the formation of a social media policy. To this point, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) created a model policy in August 2010 to help guide agencies in the development of their own social media policies. This content analysis examines current social media policies and published social media sites from Idaho police departments and sheriffs’ offices to determine the extent of congruency between them and the IACP model policy. Summary recommendations to agencies are provided.