The measure is designed to weed out would-be cops who have on their Web sites , violent or explicit imagery, racist rants and any other material considered objectionable. There is no written policy on what is objectionable investigators just know it when they see it. Sometimes the investigators comment LOL if the page is particularly good.
Without the applicant logging on, only a subpoena could get the NYPD that much access to the private Web pages.One applicant had a picture of him pointing a gun at a buddy.
"He said it was just his friend," but at that point the interviewer thought it best that he not join the New York City Police Department as the safety was still on.
The police also Google would-be cops and visit them online in the public pages of social-networking sites which explains all the humourless commenters.
The department has been embarrassed by disclosures of inappropriate online postings by cops and recruits.
A rookie cop named Christian Torres was arrested and charged with twice robbing a Sovereign Bank in Manhattan, along with one in Pennsylvania.
Internal Affairs investigators discovered Torres had a MySpace page in which he posted cartoons about bank robberies and listed his profession as "Oink"making fun of the police nickname "pig" which many officers are proud of.
Other web pages have had videos of violent police beatings, explicit photos involving police uniforms or gear, and bigoted remarks. If you like that sort of thing one investigator said, you should read http://oldbitterballs.blogspot.com/
Some recruits networking accounts included boasts of gang membership, or photos of the applicant sporting gang-related tattoos and making gang gestures. Shaven heads and neck tattoos should have given them away but this reporter thinks that it shows how the educational system is working as 10 years ago only 2% of gang members were on-line compared to today's 74%.
In many states like Florida gang membership is a bonus as they have their own guns and know how to use them.
One recruit had pictures and stories of how he did drugs and liked to beat up black people, he was allowed to join as boys will be boys.