SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said he decided new guidelines on how the Police Department uses social media were needed because several officers’ inadvertently tipped off protesters about recent Occupy raids through Facebook and Twitter posts.

“We’re going to try and come up with some objective guidelines so that we are that police department that appears to be smart and responsible at all times,” Suhr said.

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KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Suhr and Commander Richard Corriea described the San Francisco Police Department’s evolving approach to social media on Tuesday at a University of San Francisco law enforcement seminar that drew police chiefs and high ranking police officers from across the country.

Corriea said several posts about a Dec. 7 raid did not disclose specific plans, but were unambiguous enough that reporters and Occupiers were able to figure out a raid was likely that morning.

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As a result, officers participating in sensitive operations now get short notice of the assignment, and are advised at the time they receive the order not to discuss it publicly, Corriea said.

Suhr said it was clear the officers did not intend to alert the protesters, and noted the social media guidelines would also include protocols for text messaging.

“I don’t know a parent, myself included, that could get by with kids without being able to text,” he said, alluding to the kind of balance the guidelines will need in order to be effective.

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