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Georgia Firefighter Terminated For Cellphone Video of Dead Woman

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  • John W. Varone

    This is a sad display of how modern technology, which can be used to enhance our task performance, also has the potential for misuse. Camera phones provide our professions with a quick means to disseminate images and document our observations. Yet, this incident reenforces the concern that we fail to implement policy and procedures as quickly as we incorporate technological advances into our jobs.
    In 2009 a police officer from a department in Southeastern Connecticut was terminated for taking and disseminating cell phone images of a suicide scene, to civilians and officers who were not involved in the investigation. The officer was terminated based on charges covering conduct. This sent a strong message to the officers in the region that although no specific policy was in place, this conduct is unacceptable and is considered a termination offense.