A quick one: over on his own blog a writer who describes himself on Twitter as a PSNI officer has just published a rarely-seen (WARNING – EXTREMELY GRAPHIC) glimpse into what are presented as some of the hardest days of a currently-serving police officer.
For many years, Police Service of Northern Ireland social media policy for work social posts and security concerns for personal posts kept this kind of look at life beyond the PR hashtags and taglines to a minimum.
The recent #dryyoureyes issue is a symptom of the slow trend of apparent tales from the locker room starting to find their way online through a number of social media accounts.
As an aside, the writer’s extremely direct Twitter account – definitely not endorsement etc – often takes on the handling of police stories by the NI media in a way that no one else seems to be openly attempting. If politics hates a vacuum, then so too does social media, it seems.
Personally, it is my idealistic hope that before a person seeks to politicise the job an individual officer is doing or apply their prejudice, of whatever type, they read the blog entry above.
The piece is another instance where a writer reveals what they have found to be the real but, until now, hidden face of working within policing in Northern Ireland at present.
My own Slugger entry, written as someone who had professional exposure to the organisation (although not as a police officer), tries to do the same from a very different viewpoint.
A brilliant Police Federation campaign has shown the way their officers see it: “we are you“. Their stories deserve to be heard.
Conor Johnston – @CJohnstonNI – writes about subjects including culture (especially film/ cinemas), identity and media. He also blogs at www.freerangewords.net