By J.D. Miles

MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Social media is becoming a bigger part of fighting crime for police officers. But now, authorities in McKinney are investigating one of their own after a photograph posted online was called into question.

The message on the McKinney Police Department employee’s Facebook page was clear — don’t drink and drive. But the accompanying photograph of a recent car crash in the city has some residents complaining that it was inappropriate to post that picture online.

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“They just make me sad, quite honestly,” said McKinney resident Sarah Moody, “because the person who’s inside this car has a family, and they probably don’t want to see that.” Moody also worries that the photograph may incriminate someone before the case goes to a trial.

The photograph was removed after an anonymous McKinney resident notified authorities.

Chad Barker with the McKinney Police Department stated, “It does appear to be an account that belongs to one of our employees. We do have a social media policy that addresses content posted on sites like Facebook.”

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An attorney and former police officer said that those working in law enforcement take big risks by publicizing investigations on social media sites. “It is pretty much frowned upon to be posting detailed pictures or information about cases that have not yet gone through the complete legal process,” said criminal law attorney Pete Schulte.

But some residents don’t see anything wrong with police employees letting people know about what is happening around town. “A lot of things happen in our community that we don’t know about. Terrible things,” said Spencer Anfosso. “I think we need to be aware of these things and not just turn a blind eye to it.”

The McKinney Police Department said that the employee’s chain of command will investigate the incident and determine if any action should be taken.

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