UPDATE POSTED 5 P.M. FEB. 27,2021
SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Scott County Sheriff’s deputy will be disciplined and undergo training after his boss determined his Facebook posts violated the department’s social media policy.
In addition, the department will review it policy and expectations with all officers, Sheriff Tony Hampton said in a statement Saturday.
Hampton did not disclose the discipline being imposed on Deputy Keith Gibson but given Gibson is undergoing training, it stops short of termination.
In his statement, Hampton said:
“In regards to the investigation of social media post by one of our deputies, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office has concluded that Deputy Keith Gibson did violate policy by posting and sharing several inappropriate politically based pictures on his personal social media account. His posts were found to be detrimental to the mission, function and integrity of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.
“As a result of this conclusion of facts, the deputy will be disciplined and his discipline shall be implemented per the guidelines of our Code of Conduct Policy. We will also require him to attend remedial training on matters identified in our review. I have also directed my command staff to conduct agency-wide training on social media and the expectations for their behavior that are clearly defined in our policy.
“As the Sheriff, I fully apologize to anyone who was offended by these posts and for any reduction in confidence in our agency that this deputies’ actions may have had on our great community. Georgetown-Scott County has always overwhelmingly supported our deputies and I ask that you continue to support us as move forward.
“Unprofessional conduct that jeopardizes public trust, cannot and will not be tolerated. When actions by any employee creates division in that trust, discipline must be swift and appropriate. My office and the hard-working men and woman that I oversee, shall continue to represent every person and every segment of our community as we continue our mission,” Hampton concluded.
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED FEB. 24, 2021
SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Scott County Sheriff’s deputy’s Facebook posts could land
him in hot water for possibly violating the department’s social media policy.
Sheriff Tony Hampton began investigating Deputy Keith Gibson, who has been with the department since 2019, after being alerted Wednesday morning to a series of offensive posts by WTVQ ABC 36.
Some of the posts include racial and sexually offensive material. His posts also back his political views, including support for former President Donald Trump and his dislike for President Joe Biden and some other Democrats.
After the sheriff was notified, he apparently had a conversation with Gibson, who removed several of the posts from his Facebook page, which lists his employment of the sheriff’s department.
According to his Facebook page, Gibson is a native of Albany, Ky., and went to Clinton County High School. He worked for the Boone County Sheriff’s Department from 2017 until joining Scott County on July 9, 2019, according to his Facebook page.
Sheriff Hampton issued the statement below in response to media inquires:
“On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, we were made aware of several social media post by an employee of our office that were reported as offensive and unprofessional. As a result of this complaint, we have begun and administrative review of this matter and of his social media activity.
“The Scott County Sheriff’s Office is a professional and accredited law enforcement agency, we have policies and procedures in place that govern the actions of employees on social media. Our policy, General Order 20.02 Social Networking/Internet Postings states:
“Employees of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office who utilize social networking sites, blogs, twitter or other mediums of electronic communications in their off-duty time shall maintain an appropriate level of professionalism and appropriate conduct so as not to broadcast in a manner which is detrimental to the mission and function of this agency.”
“At the conclusion of our review, if the employee has been found to violate policy, they will be subject to discipline and/or retraining. The deputy in question has been in law enforcement for over 10 years and has been with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office snce 2019.
“As Sheriff, I take these allegations very seriously and wish to thank those who brought these posts to my staff’s attention to review so that we can take quick action. My office strives to always be very transparent in both our greatest moments as well as when we fall short while serving the community both on and off duty,” Hampton concluded.