Winnebago officer takes back comment

Local News

Although not required to do so, a Winnebago police officer removed a social media comment he recently posted.

“Josiah you have succeeded somehow in making this even funnier!!!” Jacob Pettit wrote in a post.

Pettit was responding to a rock band’s song that was dubbed over a “low-speed” bike chase video he was involved in on July 1.

“I spoke with him, reviewed our policy and it was not a violation of policy,” says Police Chief Eric Olson. “So, I don’t know why he deleted it.”

Under the Police Department’s policy manual, there is nothing that is intended to prohibit an officer from expressing their views as a private citizen.

However, there may be some instances when an officer’s right to comment publicly has to be restricted.

Due to an officer’s work and influence associated with the profession, says the policy, it may be necessary to impose “reasonable limitations.”

“Speech or expression made pursuant to an official duty that tends to compromise or damage the mission, function reputation or professionalism of the Winnebago Police Department or its employees,” the policy says.

Officers are encouraged to consult with their supervisor if they have any questions regarding the policy was unable to contact Pettit for a comment.

The “low-speed” pursuit of more than 10 minutes covered a four-block area that went down streets and alleys, through yards and between houses.

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